The board of approval for special economic zones (SEZs) on Wednesday granted formal approval to 16 SEZs but deferred a decision on the giant zone proposed to be set up by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani with associate Anand Jain in Navi Mumbai.
Sources, who did not wish to be identified, said the decision on the Navi Mumbai SEZ spread across 1,250 hectares had been deferred on “certain land-related issues”. “There were issues of contiguity of land that need further clarification. There is a railway line that passes through the proposed zone. The developers have said they will build underpasses and overbridges to ensure contiguity. Government officials will study the proposals as well as the site before granting approval. The matter will be taken up in the next board meeting,” sources said.
“The revenue department wanted to confirm if the steps proposed by the company to prevent
possible revenue loss through these transit routes were adequate," the sources added.
The next meeting of the board is scheduled for May 31. There are about 370 SEZ proposals pending with the government, of which more than 160 have already acquired land.
Of the 23 proposals considered for conversion of approvals in principle to formal approvals, the board cleared 16 projects. Prominent among these are the proposal by Suzlon Infrastructure Limited for high-tech engineering products and related services over an area of 115.73 hectares in Vadodara, Gujarat, and for a port-based engineering products and related services over an area of 175 hectares near Mangalore in Karnataka.
The board also approved the proposal of DLF Limited to set up an informational technology and infotech enabled services SEZ in Orissa spread over an area of 22 hectares. It also approved a sector-specific SEZ for aluminium by Vedanta Alumina Limited in Orissa.
Two multi-product SEZs by Tamil Nadu Industrial Developer Corporation Limited in Ennore over an area of 1,214 hectares and in Nangunneri over an area of 1,020 hectares also got the nod.
The board has so far granted formal approvals to 257 SEZ proposals. Of these, 63 have been notified and 83 proposals were cleared for notification by an empowered group of ministers last month.
The ministerial group has set as the minimum processing area for SEZs at 50 per cent of the total land area. Earlier, the minimum processing area for multi-product SEZs was 35 per cent, with a provision for relaxation up to 25 per cent by the board of approvals; and it was 50 per cent for sector-specific SEZs. The ministerial group also set a ceiling of 5,000 hectares on land meant for any SEZ.