Special economic zones of Ambani brothers among 36 cleared

Friday, 22 June 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Three applications from the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and another from his brother Anil's group for special economic zones were among the 36 that were given formal approvals Friday.

The go-ahead was given at a meeting of the Board of Approvals (BOA) on special economic zones - presided over by Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai here - called to examine 52 proposals from all over the country. Forty-six of them were new ones.

The board gave formal go-aheads to 36 applications, while nine were given in-principle approvals, where some clarifications will be sought before taking up the matter again. A decision on seven proposals was deferred.

"Special economic zones (SEZs) are now all over the country except in the northeast region from where we have not received any application as of now," Pillai told reporters after the board's meeting.

"Excluding today's meeting, a total investment of 351 billion ($8.5 billion) have already been made. Total direct employment has been given to 32,578 people. I expect four million jobs to be created in these zones by 2008-09."

Prior to Friday's meeting, Pillai said, the board had approved as many as 303 proposals with a formal nod and notified 106 of them.

Among the proposals deferred Friday was one for a multi-product special economic zone from Skil Infrastructure at Hoskote in Karnataka since the promoters could not provide information on their net worth, set at a minimum of 2.5 billion.

"MAS Fabric Park, a Sri Lanka-based firm, estimates to put in about $780 million over a few years and provide 30,000 direct jobs," Pillai said, adding that proposal for textile zone in Andhra Pradesh was also approved.

Anil Ambani's proposal from Reliance Infocomm Infrastructure sought to set up a SEZ at the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City at Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra in the area of IT and business process outsourcing (BPO).

In the case of Mukesh Ambani, all three proposals have been made through Navi Mumbai SEZ - one on biotechnology, the second on light engineering and the third on pharmaceuticals, officials said.

Other major proposals given formal approvals included those from Parry for food processing zone, Amira Foods for agro zone and GMR for aviation-related zone in Andhra Pradesh and Raheja Developers for engineering zone in Gurgaon.
Source: IANS
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