Visakhapatnam, March 1
THE Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone (VSEZ) here has urged the State Government to allot 200 acres more land to expand its operations in addition to the existing 360 acres, "as many more industries are evincing interest to set up units in the zone", according to Mr P. Ramesh Kumar, the Development Commissioner.
At a press meet in the zone on the occasion of the visit of the Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry, Mr M.M Lakhera, he said that as many as 20-25 industries had sent proposals to set up units in the VSEZ. "We expect them to start construction in the coming financial year. We need 200 acres more and have written to the State Government. The latter has accepted in principle to allocate more land for the zone," Mr Ramesh Kumar said.
He said the units in the zone had achieved export turnover of Rs 480 crore so far during the current financial year and "we are confident of easily surpassing the target of Rs 525 crore. During the last financial year, the VSEZ had achieved an export turnover of Rs 450 crore. We have already crossed the mark this year," he said.
He said industrialists from all sectors - pharmaceuticals, agro processing, software and others - were keen on setting up units in the zone. During the next financial year, he said, the turnover of the VSEZ would cross the Rs 1,000-crore mark.
In response to a question, he said the upcoming special economic zone at Atchyuthapuram in Viskhapatnam district would pose no threat to the VSEZ. The competition would spur us to strive harder, he added.
Mr M.M. Lakhera said the Union Government had sanctioned a special economic zone for Pondicherry too and the requisite infrastructure was being built up. "In Pondicherry SEZ, the focus would be on IT and IT-related services besides auto components. We are developing Pondhicherry port, at present not a functional one, for the benefit of the units coming up in the SEZ. Initially, one jetty will be developed and ultimately six at the port," he said.
Referring to the Yanam enclave of Pondicherry, near Kakinada in East Godavari district, he said the beach was being developed there to attract tourists. "After the implementation of VAT from April, the units at Yanam may lose some incentives, but we will try to make it up for them. Regency Ceramics is the biggest unit at Yanam. They have already set up an engineering college. A medical college is also being set up," he said.