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Dankuni, Durgapur SEZs pass test

New Delhi, June 5: The government today gave an in-principle approval to a textile special economic zone in Dankuni by realty major DLF and a steel SEZ in Durgapur by Jai Balaji Sponge.

They were among the nine zones to get an in-principle approval today. The government also gave its formal approval to 24 SEZs

Among those to receive formal approvals were Reliance Industries’ 440-hectare zone in Gurgaon and the GMR group’s airport-based export area in Hyderabad. An in-principle approval was given to Rewas Port Trust’s 2,850-hectare port-based export SEZ in Maharashtra.

DLF plans to set up the textiles zone on 100 hectares in Dankuni, while the Jai Balaji group will build the SEZ for steel processors. This will be spread over 105 hectares and located on the outskirts of Durgapur.

Formal approvals have been given to proposals that have the possession of land. Projects without land have received in-principle approvals, pending its acquisition.

Most of the zones to receive formal approvals today were in the infotech and BPO sectors. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra are the main states in the list.

The other formal approvals include an agro processing zone by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC); IT/ITeS zone by MIDC in Thane, Maharashtra; IT/ITeS zone by Wipro in Andhra Pradesh; multi-product SEZ by Indiabulls Industrial Infrastructure Limited in Maharashtra; two infotech zones by Tidco in Tamil Nadu; IT/ITES zone by APIIC in Andhra Pradesh; handicrafts and artisan SEZ by Gujarat Growth Centres Development Corporation in Gujarat; electronic hardware zone by SIPCOT in Tamil Nadu; handicrafts SEZ by Mansarover Industrial Development Corporation in Rajasthan.

The in-principle approvals include a gems and jewellery SEZ by Gitanjali Gems in Maharashtra; a leather zone by MIDC in Maharashtra and a multi product SEZ by Indiabulls Builders in Maharasthra.

The commerce ministry was earlier toying with the idea of doing away with the system of giving in-principle approvals. The ministry only wanted to clear projects that have the land.

Land acquisition and displacement of farmers for SEZs have erupted into a major controversy after the Nandigram violence. The government was forced to work on a new relief and rehabilitation policy.

The policy is now before a group of ministers.The GoM had earlier decided to put an end to the mandatory acquisition of land by state governments. It had, however, left the picture hazy on states buying land from willing farmers.

“The issue assumes importance as state governments have also been allowed to set up SEZs either on their own or as joint venture partners with private companies,” a senior official said.

Besides private companies setting up SEZs or big industrial projects may face some problems relating to small patches of land required for road connectivity or contiguity of plots.

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