Centre asks states to clear air on pending SEZs

Centre asks states to clear air on pending SEZs

New Delhi: The Centre has given an ultimatum to the states to clear the backlog of pending SEZ proposals by 23 August , failing which it may scrap over 170 applications.

“We have asked the state governments to decide on the SEZ proposals that have been pending with them for more than six months," a goverment official said.

States have been asked to revert to the Centre by 23 August on the status of pending SEZs. “If we do not get their reply by that date, we may scrap these proposals," he said.

There are 268 proposals pending with commerce ministry, which can go to the Board of Approval only after they are approved by state governments. Of these, there are about 170 cases on which state governments’ response is awaited.

Although the SEZ Rules require the promoters to get the state clearance before the proposals are taken up by the BoA, many of the applications are sent directly to the Centre.

This way the promoters try and speed up the process of clearance both at the central and state level. Applications for formal approvals can be taken up only if the promoters have land in possesion. The government has so far given formal approval to 364 proposals and in-principle nod to 180 other. This takes the total number of clearances to about 550.