The 59th meeting of Board of Approval (BoA) on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and 4th meeting of 2013 series on Export Oriented Units (EOUs) were held here today under the chairmanship of Commerce Secretary Shri S R Rao. This was the first meeting of the Inter-ministerial body to be held after the recent SEZ reforms amendments carried out to the SEZ Rules, 2006 on August 12, 2013. The total SEZ exports upto June 30, 2013 were Rs 1,13,299 crores and the investment stood at Rs.2,60,252 crores and over 11.35 lakh persons were employed in this sector.
The BoA considered four new proposals for establishing SEZ (including one on multi-product, two sector specific SEZs for IT/ITES and one Engineering SEZ) with a total investment of Rs. 6451.31 crores. Of these, two proposals were cleared while the other two were deferred for the next meeting pending certain clarifications.
The BoA also approved the conversion of the 624.786 Hectare Mangalore SEZ, Mangalore from a sector specific SEZ to a Multi Product SEZ. This change would enable the SEZ to invite units to be set up in a variety of sectors after this was made possible on account of the recent amendments to the SEZ Rules following the April 18, 2013 SEZ Reforms announcement by the Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Anand Sharma.
The BoA also cleared the denotification of six SEZ projects including one Textile sector SEZ and five IT/ITES SEZs.
Significant progress by SEZ developers / units was reported in the meeting, while seeking extension of letters of approval, including those of ONGC unit at MIHAN (Rs. 903.7 crores), Air India unit at MIHAN (Rs. 265 crores), Gopalpur SEZ in Orissa (Rs. 235 crores), Stargaze SEZ at Andhra Pradesh (Rs. 186 crores), Velankani SEZ at Tamil Nadu (Rs. 154 crores). The BoA was happy to see the sustained interest from the Indian Industries in SEZs and granted time bound approvals to allow completion and operationalisation of the projects under implementation.
The BoA for EOUs approved three proposals for setting up of EOUs which would generate an investment of around Rs. 35 crores. Over a five year period, these new EOUs would export goods and services worth Rs. 445 cores and generate employment for more than 700 people.