Ten applications for setting up special economic zones (SEZs) in Kerala that the state committee of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) cleared last week finally got the cabinet approval Monday.
The Communist Party of India (CPI), a major partner in the ruling coalition led by the COmmunist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), was against these proposals and had insisted that the state first frame laws in line with the central government's SEZ Act 2005 before sanctioning them.
The cabinet decision comes soon after an urgent LDF meeting held here Monday, which asked the cabinet to clear the proposals without any delay.
Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the 10 applications would be cleared subject to 13 conditions put forward by the state government.
The conditions include: no agricultural land will be acquired for SEZ, land will not be acquired for sanctioning SEZ in the private sector, no rebates will be allowed for electricity, Panchayati Raj rules will be applicable, tax holidays will be there only for 10 years, 70 percent of the land will have to be used for industrial purpose and in the balance 30 percent no flats can be sold to outside parties.
All labour laws prevailing in the state will also be applicable to these SEZs.
"Applications for the SEZs will be cleared only if those concerned are ready to comply with these conditions. At present, there are 11 SEZs and eight applications are pending with the centre. Now, we are sending these 10 to the centre," Achuthanandan said.