In-principle nod for 14 SEZs; total number of approvals goes up to 164

Our Bureau

The norms


Minimum investment

or net worth of the promoter company in the SEZs to be prescribed.

Sector-specific

SEZ developers must plough in a minimum investment of Rs 250 crore or have net worth of Rs 50 crore.

For multi-product

SEZs, minimum investment is Rs 1,000 crore and net worth Rs 250 crore is required.

New Delhi, Sept 21

In a serious effort to clear misperceptions about SEZs being a big land scam, the Board of Approval for SEZs today set forth list of authorised operations for building social infrastructure within the various SEZs and criteria for developers to qualify for tax breaks.

At its meeting under the Chairmanship of the Special Secretary in the Commerce Ministry, Mr G.K. Pillai, the board also gave in-principle nod to 14 SEZs, taking the total number of SEZs approved so far to 164. Out of this, 25 SEZs have been notified.

The proposals include a multi-product SEZ spread over 2,086 hectares to be developed by Maharasthra Aiport Development Company Ltd in Nagpur and two IT SEZs by DLF in Gurgaon (Haryana) and Hyderabad.

Real estate builder Parsvnath would develop IT SEZs in Dehradun and Indore, while the Welspun Group would promote a specialised textile SEZ in Gujarat.

Speaking to newspersons, Mr Pillai said that it has been decided to prescribe minimum investment or net worth of the promoter company in the SEZs.

Accordingly, sector-specific SEZ developers must plough in a minimum investment of Rs 250 crore or have net worth of Rs 50 crore.

For multi-product SEZs, minimum investment is Rs 1,000 crore and net worth Rs 250 crore.

However, he added, proposals not meeting the criteria but with enough justification for the same would be considered on merits by the board.

The board would hold meetings over the next two weeks to consider another 200 proposals and also State-wise.

Mr Pillai clarified that as much as 65 per cent of the area would be provided for social infrastructure like parks, recreations club, etc., leaving 35 per cent area for processing activities.

"There would be very little space for manoeuvring" by land mafias, he added.

He also said that houses being built within the zones by developers would be need-based; the board would not allow their resale. The owners could be given right to sub-lease the same, he added.

He said that the Government was pushing the developers to concentrate on building social infrastructure to attract units to house in the various SEZs in the country.

For sector-specific SEZs, hotel/service apartments, food services including cafeteria, food courts, restaurants, recreational facilities, railhead, office space, shopping arcade, retail space, multiplex would be allowed.

In the case of multi-product SEZs, over and above these facilities, authorised area of activities for which approvals would be granted include port, airport, air cargo complex, inland container depot, banks, golf courses and recreational facilities including club house, indoor/outdoor games and gymnasium.

Developers of sector-specific SEZs can build a maximum of 7,500 houses, a 100-room hotel, a 25-bed hospital, and have office space, retail stores and multiplexes up to 50,000 sq m, while a multi-product SEZ developer can build a maximum of 25,000 houses, a 250-room hotel, a 100-bed hospital and office space, retail stores and multiplexes of 200,000 sq m.

He added that these could be approved in stages only.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 22, 2006)
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