The global economic slowdown and a shift in the Centre’s policy have resulted in the cancellation of six special economic zone (SEZ) projects in Madhya Pradesh.
“As no significant progress was made by the developers even eight years after the notifications were issued, a proposal was sent to the Centre for cancelling the formal approvals granted to six projects,” Indore SEZ development commissioner AK Rathore said.
The SEZ website of the Union commerce ministry reveals that proposed IT SEZs of Parsvnath Developers Ltd, Zoom Developers, Malwa IT Park, Cassandra Realty, and Writers and Publishers in Indore, besides a multi-services SEZ of the Gwalior Agriculture Company, have been de-notified.
The IT SEZ proposed by Parsvnath Developers Ltd in Indore was notified in July 2007. “The developer has not made any progress on the SEZ, citing economic slowdown as the reason, and stated that it currently has no plan to start any activity,” the Board of Approval for SEZ said.
“SEZs, which had emerged as major export hubs in the last decade, started losing sheen after the imposition of the minimum alternate tax (MAT) and dividend distribution tax,” Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan president Gautam Kothari said.
Though industry body CII had sought a reduction in MAT for SEZs in the Budget, the finance minister did not announce any such concession —leaving the industry disappointed.
The concept of SEZs was introduced by the Centre in 2000 through a revision in the Export-Import Policy 1997-2002. These industrial enclaves were exempt from all taxes, and treated as foreign territories for facilitating industrial, service and trade operations.
The SEZs were intended to create jobs and boost the manufacturing sector.
When Indore’s real estate market was booming in the mid-2000s, many developers launched integrated township projects with SEZs.
Today, most of the projects have failed to take off even though the townships have been completed.