Home Economy SEZ land ceiling may be relaxed: official

SEZ land ceiling may be relaxed: official


New Delhi : Even as protests against special economic zones (SEZ) continue across the country, the central government may allow these zones to be bigger than the current limit of 5,000 hectares, said a senior commerce ministry official.

“Now that the R&R (Resettlement and Rehabilitation) policy is in place, the government may think of relaxing the ceiling on the size of SEZs,” Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai said at the India Economic Summit here Monday.

Later, talking to reporters on the sidelines, he said: “Out of the total number of SEZs that have been formally approved (472), only 34 are multi-product.”

“It’s not that all of them are wanting the sizes to be increased. There are just 3-4 cases that are requesting for a higher limit,” he added.

Pillai added that it is up to the government to decide whether this will be done on a case-by-case basis or a specific policy in this regard will be enacted.

He indicated that the land acquisition policy is expected to be up for discussion in the current session of parliament.

The government has so far given formal approval to 404 SEZs, 160 have received in-principle approval and 172 have been notified, in which work has started, Pillai said.

“By March, almost 150,000 jobs will be generated within the SEZs, and by Dec 2009 more than 600,000 jobs will be created,” he said.

The SEZs have already attracted $13 billion in investments, of which $3 billion is foreign direct investment, which is expected to go up fourfold in the coming years, he said.