No relaxation of land rules for SEZs: Nath

No relaxation of land rules for SEZs: Nath


New Delhi: Within a fortnight of Commerce Secretary G K Pillai talking about a possible relaxation of cap on land size for SEZs, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said on 11 December there was no proposal to change the 5,000 hectare ceiling prescribed by a Group of Ministers.

“The government is not considering any proposal to relax the 5,000 hectare cap on land size for Special Economic Zones (SEZs)" Nath told reporters on the sidelines of the TiE Entrepreneurial Summit here.

However, the Centre would look at specific proposals from states once the Resettlment and Rehabilitation (RR) Policy is implemented, he said. “There cannot be a one-size-fits-all policy for all the states," he said. The Commerce Ministry was examining these issues, Nath said.

He said the much-delayed review of foreign direct investment was likely to come up before the Cabinet next week.

As regards demand for further relief for the exporters hit by rupee rise, the Commerce Minister said: “The matter is being examined by the Prime Minister".

He said there has to be complete remission of duty. “It has to be ensured that no taxes are exported and exporters have a level playing field," he said.

The Commerce Secretary had stated on December two that the government may relax the 5,000-hectare ceiling on land for multi-product SEZs once amendments in the Land Acquisition Act along with the RR policy was passed by Parliament.

The Rural Development Ministry has introduced the twin bills in the Lok Sabha in the just-concluded winter session of Parliament.

An empowered Group of Ministers, headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had in April this year capped the maximum area for a multi-product SEZ at 5,000 hectare.

The ceiling forced Reliance Industries and real estate majors DLF and Omaxe to cut the size of their mega SEZs to 5,000 hectare.

While Reliance Industries had plans to set up two 10,000 hectare zones in Haryana and Maharashtra, DLF was looking at a 8,000 hectare zone in Gurgaon and Omaxe 6,070 hectare zone in Alwar in Rajasthan.