The government has cancelled its approvals to 27 special economic zones, including Emaar MGF Land Ltd and SAIL Salem SEZ, while giving more time to 18 others to execute their projects.
The decision was taken by inter-ministerial Board of Approval (BoA) headed by Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher at its meeting on July 24.
"The Board, after deliberations, decided to cancel the formal approval in 27 cases granted to the developers," the Commerce Ministry said.
"The approval is subject to the Development Commissioner furnishing a certificate in the prescribed format certifying that the developer has not availed any tax/duty benefits under SEZ Act/Rules or has refunded any such benefits availed by it and subject to the State Govt. furnishing it?s no objection certificate to the proposal," it added.
It said the Board has noted that the progress made by the 27 developers was not satisfactory. It has examined a total of 43 cases for cancellation.
The ministry said: "The Board noted that in the 14 cases relating to Deccan Infrastructure and Land Holdings and one case relating to AP Markfed, the DC VSEZ has requested that the proposals for cancellation may be deferred in view of the scenario arising out of bifurcation of State of Andhra Pradesh and creation of new State of Telengana.
Therefore, these 15 cases may not be cancelled." Further, after deliberations the BoA has decided to give more time to 18 SEZs to implement their projects.
"The Board after deliberations, extended the validity of the formal approval to the requests for extensions beyond fifth years for a period of one year and those beyond sixth year for a period of six months from the date of expiry of last extension," the ministry said.
Those which received more time includes DLF Info Park (Pune) for its IT/ITeS zone in Maharashtra; Navi Mumbai SEZ for setting up of a multi-product zone; Indiabulls Industrial Infrastructure for its multi-product SEZ in Maharashtra and Gulf Oil Corporation for setting up of sector specific SEZ in Karnataka.
SEZs are mainly export and investment hubs which enjoy certain tax benefits.
Of the 566 formally approved SEZs, only 185 are in operation. Exports from these zones increased from Rs. 22,840 crore in 2005-06 to Rs. 4.94 lakh crore in 2013-14.