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Andhra SEZ big draw for India Inc

business Updated: Mar 12, 2007 06:41 IST
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Three of India's corporate giants, along with a clutch of real estate developers, are in the race for a proposed Rs 2,500 crore special economic zone (SEZ) in Andhra Pradesh.

The 250-acre SEZ, which will be set up in the Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh, has already been approved by the ministry of commerce.

Sources close to the development said automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra, engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro and Godrej were in the race for the project. Mumbai-based builder Hiranandhani and the Rahejas are also said to be interested.

"The major attraction of this SEZ is that it has all the required clearances. However, the stake-sharing pattern has not been decided. The project will have an investment of Rs 2,500 crore, excluding the value of the land," sources said.

M&M, which has developed an SEZ in Chennai, is in the process of setting up zones in Pune and Jaipur, while L&T has asked for SEZ status for its unit in Andhra Pradesh, which caters to the defence establishment.

Asked whether the company was interested in the proposed SEZ in Andhra Pradesh, a senior L&T executive said: "We are interested in every infrastructure project. If a proposal for an SEZ exists and is viable, we will be bidding for it."

Besides providing better infrastructure, SEZs also enjoy tax benefits. Getting permission for setting up SEZs has become tough after an empowered group of ministers decided to freeze all approvals till policy norms were amended. The move followed a nationwide agitation against large-scale land acquisition and scanty compensation offered to the ousted owners of land.