Special economic regions to spur FDI in infrastructure: Dua

New Delhi, April 28 | Updated: Apr 29 2006, 05:30am hrs
The proposed special economic regions (SERs) that would house one or two SEZs, a few industrial parks and a clutch of parasitic DTA units in upstream and downstream industries, would go a long way in improving the profitability of infrastructure projects. The idea is to make infrastructure projects viable by creating an assured market and thereby expedite their implementation.

Speaking to FE, Mr Ajay Dua, secretary, department of industrial policy & promotion, said the SERs, as they exist at Pudong in China and Houston in the US have been proven to be a viable model in inducing infrastructure investment, especially FDI. The SERs can come up in selected that have potential for development. While the SEZ units (that enjoy customs and excise duty waivers and income tax holiday up to a specified period) industrial parks benefit from only I-T holiday. Other units in the SERs might not enjoy any fiscal relief, but they would also benefit from the infrastructure like rail, road and port connectivity and water and electricity facilities, Mr Dua said.

The concept of SERs are virtually en extension of the chemical and petrochemical investment regions being mulled by the task force headed by the principal secretary to the prime minister. We are looking at an agglomeration of viable economies, while also trying to overcome the infrastructure handicap, the official explained.