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Govt's SEZ draft stresses on infrastructure

The infrastructure building would cover everything from building roads to having hospitals, recreational centres, schools and banks, reports Romita Datta.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2007 22:03 IST

The state government in its draft policy on SEZ has stressed on an elaborate and comprehensive infrastructure building as a mandatory clause for developers working on SEZs. The infrastructure building would cover everything from building roads to having hospitals of 100-bed capacity, recreational centres, crèche, schools, car-parking to banks, fire stations.

It has drawn probable list of 19 to 20 "must" infrastructural items for any manufacturing and processing units and has also mentioned that it would be happy to accommodate many more, with its prior approval.

The state government has also ear-marked land that has to be reserved for infrastructure and processing units within the SEZ area. The draft mentions that the government apprehends that there is a tendency to use SEZ area for development of real estate or promoting business.

"There is a need to restrict such activities within the SEZ area and hence 25% area should be reserved for infrastructural facilities in case of multi-product SEZ, 15% for infrastructure in case of sector-specific SEZs and 10% for IT and ITes based SEZs.

For all these categories of SEZs, the must items are internal roads with street lights, signals, water reservoir, water treatment plant, effluent treatment plant, drainage sewage system, power supply, sub-stations, gas and PNG distribution network, administrative building, training and conference facilities, police posts, telecom office, clinic, medical centre and hospital with 100-bedcapacity, crèche, school, canteen, catering, banks, ATM, fire station, recreational facilities, beautification, gardening, landscaping.

The infrastructural facilities are being emphasized so that developers actually are left with very little space to be used up as they willed. In fact, the government in its draft clearly mentions that the "flurry of applications" is a pointer that developers want to use SEZ land for real estate and promoting activities. Hence, the decision to earmark specific areas for the processing and manufacturing unit and specific land for infrastructure.

While in case of multi-product SEZ, the state government has justified reserving 50% of land for processing unit and 25% for infrastructure, as against the Centre's recommendations of leaving 35% for processing area. In case of sector-specific SEZ, 60% of land should be left manufacturing and processing activities and 15% for infrastructural activities. In case of IT and ITes, 70% would be reserved for processing unit and 10% for infrastructure. However, SEZs coming up in backward areas would get a 10% concession of putting land into real estate business.  

The state government has humbly requested the Director General of Export Promotion Council for SEZ units, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, that the area for multiproduct SEZs be reduced from 1,000 hectares or 2,500 acres to 400 hectares or 1,000 acres.  It has humbly cited that in view of "difficulties and controversy attached with land acquisition for SEZ, the minimum requirement be reduced so that government can locate land without infringement of agricultural land."

Email Romita Datta: datta _romita@yahoo.com