Having so far allocated about 1.5 lakh acres of land for the Special Economic Zones, Andhra Pradesh government has now decided that no wet land will be acquired for creation of SEZs.
In his address to the state assembly on Monday, Governor Rameshwar Thakur said "The total land that will be now allocated to SEZs will not go beyond 1.5 lakh acres which is 0.24 per cent of the total land mass of the state. My state has resolved to ensure that unless it is absolutely warranted, no wet land is acquired for creation of SEZs."
He said that the State has taken the initiative of encouraging the setting up of a large number of SEZs as it is needed to create infrastructure facilities for promotion of manufacturing and services sectors to help a large section of workforce now employed in agriculture to migrate to other sectors.
Thakur said that the government has recently cleared Rs 1,200 crore MLR Motors project in Medak district, work on which would begin in April 2007. This project is expected to bring along with it a large network of auto ancillaries, which in turn would catalyse additional investments in the automobile sector.
The cement industry, he said, was expected to double its capacity in the next three years, maintaining AP’s predominance as the largest producer of cement. Large numbers of leather and textile units are also coming up in various districts of the state. In Nellore district, the Bharatiya International Consortium is promoting a leather park for manufacture of leather garments, leather furniture and footwear. Apache factory at Tada has already commenced production, manufacturing the famous Adidas brand of shoes.
The South India Mills Association has also signed MoUs with the government for promotion of more than 10 spinning mills in Nellore district. In Guntur district, a large number of new spinning mills are being set up.
Sri Lankan apparel giant Brandix has already begun its operations at Visakhapatnam. Leading apparel exports of the country have started their operations in Rangareddy district. The governor said that the manufacturing sector has gained in strength, slowly yet surely in many ways, over the last two years.