The Ministry of Commerce and Industry data show that 230 out of the 373 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in India are operational and have provided employment to as many as 20 lakh people.
In Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Punjab and Chandigarh all approved SEZs are operational while among four States which have more than 50 approved SEZs, Tamil Nadu tops the chart of operational SEZs with 75 per cent of its SEZs functioning without any hitch. Tamil Nadu has 52 SEZs of which 39 are operational.
In Telangana, which has 57 — the highest number of notified SEZs — only 29 are operational. Karnataka and Maharashtra have 51 SEZs each of which 31 and 30 respectively are operational.
Kerala, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are the States where more than 70 per cent SEZs are functioning. Not a single SEZ is operational in the four States of Goa, Nagaland, Jharkhand and Manipur while 71 per cent SEZs in Haryana and 60 per cent in Rajasthan are defunct.
As many as 239 (64 per cent) SEZs are located in five States including Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Employment generation through all SEZs across India was 15,91,381 in 2015 -16. Calculated on a cumulative basis, employment through SEZs is 19,96,610 in 2018-2019. Exports in the manufacturing sector from SEZs during the last four years is over ₹8 lakh crore, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry told the Lok Sabha.
In addition to 7 Central Government SEZs and 11 State/Private Sector SEZs set-up prior to the enactment of the SEZs Act, 2005, approvals have been accorded to 420 proposals for setting up of SEZs, of which 355 have been notified.
SEZs being set up under the SEZs Act, 2005 and SEZs Rules, 2006 are primarily private investment driven. No funds are sanctioned by the Central Government for setting up of SEZ. However, the fiscal concessions and duty benefits have been allowed to developers/units as per the SEZs Act, 2005 and Rules thereunder.
The government had constituted a Group under the Chairmanship of Baba Kalyani, Chairman, Bharat Forge, to study the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Policy of India. The Group, which submitted its report in November recommended a framework shift from export growth to broad-based Employment and Economic Growth (Employment and Economic Enclaves-3Es) and formulation of separate rules and procedures for manufacturing and service SEZs.