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Land details impeding SEZ notification process
July, 12th 2006
Only seven out 90 formally approved have been notified so far. 
 
There appears to be a mismatch between the rush to set up special economic zones (SEZs) and their subsequent notifications. 
 
Out of the 90 SEZs that have so far obtained formal approval from the Board of Approval for SEZs, only seven zones have been notified. According to the SEZ Act, 2005, a zone has to be notified in order to avail of the direct and indirect tax benefits. 
 
The seven zones, which have been notified, include: Reliance Infrastructure Ltds 440-hectare petroleum and petrochemical SEZ at Jamnagar in Gujarat, Flextronics Technology (India) Pvts 101-hectare electronic and hardware zone at Sriperumbudur in Chennai, Divis Laboratories Ltds 101-hectare pharmaceutical SEZ at Chippada in Vishakhapatnam, Chandigarh administrations 45-hectare electronic and IT zone at Chandigarh and the 2,658-hectare multi-product Mundra SEZ. 
 
TCSs IT zone at Chennai, spread over 28 hectares, and Apache Investment holdings Pvt Ltds footwear zone, spread over 101 hectares, are in the process of being notified. In the last two BoA meetings convened on March 17 and June 12 formal approvals had been given to 92 cases. 
 
Commerce ministry officials said the delay in notifying approved cases as SEZs was because the ministry was being cautious while seeking land details. 
 
We have asked companies to bring specific land documents to prove that they possess the land. Mere signed documents from the state government indicating the land size allotted to the company are not being accepted, an official said. 
 
Officials said there were a lot of procedures involved in setting up multi-product SEZs. 
 
Each such zone has to have a development commissioner and we are in the process of appointing commissioners for approved SEZs. Without the commissioners being appointed, the developers cannot begin any activity inside the zones, an official said. 
 
The empowered group of ministers on SEZs had decided to impose a cap on the number of SEZs to be approved at 150. 
 
Though we are yet to reach the cap, we want the zones approved to get their notifications in place before more cases are cleared, an official added.
 
 
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