New Delhi: Developers of special economic zones (SEZs) will have to comply with the security requirements India’s home ministry insists on for them, including “electronic surveillance through cameras,” according to a government official close to the development, who did not wish to be named.
The home ministry is considering treating large SEZs as vital economic installations, a classification that warrants that these special industrial areas be provided with a certain level of security, especially against terror attacks.
With the commerce ministry agreeing that it would ensure that developers meet these security requirements, the cost of developing SEZs is certain to increase. “The commerce ministry will, at the time of granting the zone formal approval, get developers to comply with the security requirement,” said the official.
The ministry had earlier raised concerns on information technology (IT) and telecom SEZs, sighting the “possibility of misuse of technology to transfer sensitive information outside the country” according to the official.
To address the threat IT and telecom SEZs pose, the commerce ministry has agreedthat the home ministry or the state government will have a representative on the board of all such SEZs to screen companies that wish to operate from these zones.
Both the commerce and home ministry have already agreed to speed up the process for granting an internal security clearance to SEZs located near international borders or strategic installations.