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Special Economic Zones at Mohali & Amritsar so (Read 4639 times)
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Special Economic Zones at Mohali & Amritsar so
04. Mar 2005 at 18:54
 
The Centre, on the recommendation of the Punjab Government, has finalised the setting up of two Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the state for “boosting exports, and the state’s overall economy”. A formal announcement in this regard is likely to be made soon.  
 
The state government was initially working out the modalities for establishing a multi-product SEZ in Amritsar. But now the authorities have finalised the setting up of another zone at Mohali.  
 
Each zone being established by the Punjab Government will be spread over an area of 2,500 hectares. “The one in Amritsar will be a general product zone, while the one at Mohali will deal with information technology (IT) goods,” says the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.  
 
As far as Amritsar is concerned, the location is “ideal” as the city is close to the airport and will provide a gateway to Pakistan and Central Asia. Thirtyfive flights are already operating in a week from Amritsar. Moreover, the cargo facility is being upgraded.  
 
Mohali, on the other hand, is fast gaining the reputation of being the state’s IT hub. Giving details, sources in the Punjab Government assert that Quark City is already being established in the township. Other IT giants are also moving in. Moreover, the township has easy access to Chandigarh Airport.
 
Experts in the field assert that the zones will attract foreign direct investment, along with the latest technology and new management practices. These will, subsequently, be transmitted to other industries.
 
“In the end, the process will result in the backward and forward integration of industry,” says the Director-General of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZ Units, Mr Lalit B. Singhal.
 
He is of the opinion that concessions being given to industries in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal are not enough for boosting exports. This is because exemption from central excise benefits only industries manufacturing products for the domestic market.
 
Export-oriented units in the SEZs are allowed to import and procure raw material, besides capital goods, without the payment of any duty. In fact, they are permitted to get the goods from abroad without an import licence. Even for setting up the units, goods are allowed without the payment of duty.
 
The sources add that the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) has already submitted its recommendations on the SEZs. It has suggested that industrial units in the SEZs should be declared providers of public utility services. The suggestion is significant as the units will be provided with better infrastructure and other facilities once these are declared public utility services providers.  
 
In its detailed report, the PSIEC has also suggested that exemption should be provided from procedural formalities hampering the quick implementation of productivity-related changes. Revision in the minimum wages after intense interaction with industry and certain relaxations in labour legislation have also been suggested. Exemptions from provisions restricting the working hours have also been sought, along with relaxed working hours for women workers.
 
Regarding the expenditure to be incurred on the SEZ project in Amritsar, the PSIEC has asserted that the land will cost Rs 203.56 crore, while another Rs 215.64 crore will be required for providing core infrastructure, including roads, a power distribution system and the water, drainage and sewer facilities. The total cost will come to Rs 509.21 crore.
 
 Tribune India, 4th March 2005
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kapil mehra
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Re: Special Economic Zones at Mohali & Amritsa
Reply #1 - 04. Jul 2005 at 03:56
 
what is the status as on today ?
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Harpreet singh
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Re: Special Economic Zones at Mohali & Amritsa
Reply #2 - 13. Jul 2005 at 04:47
 
still on papers.... i believe ...
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Davinder Singh
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Re: Special Economic Zones at Mohali & Amritsa
Reply #3 - 04. Aug 2005 at 20:56
 
Amritsar SEZ comes to standstill  
Punjab cannot afford to buy land
 
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service  
 
New Delhi, August 3
The mega Amritsar Special Economic Zone (SEZ) announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year has come to a standstill for the time being since the state government has expressed its helplessness to acquire 1000 hectares of land costing around Rs 250 crore to set up the multi-product SEZ.  
 
The state government has urged the Centre to subsidise the acquisition cost, claiming that otherwise it would be difficult to attract industrial units in the proposed SEZ.  
 
Replying to a calling attention motion introduced by Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP from Amritsar, Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath told the Lok Sabha today, “the ministry is still waiting for acquisition of 1000 hectares of land by the state government though, in principle, the Centre has agreed to grant SEZ.”
 
Mr Sidhu urged the Centre to direct the state government to acquire 1000 hectares of land to set up multi-product SEZ that will provide employment to over 75,000 youth and give a fillip to the economy of the border state. “The city has paid a heavy price during the terrorism, and heavily suffered during the two wars. Since it is gateway of India for huge potential of trade with Pakistan and other Central Asian countries, the Centre should take up the responsibility to fulfil the Prime Minister’s promise.”
 
It is understood that like the Bathinda refinery project, the project is likely to be delayed for a long time due to higher costs of land acquisition and subsequent mismanagement by the state government.  
 
The Commerce Minister said, “The minimum area requirement for a multi-product SEZ is 1000 hectares and above. There is, however, no such area requirement for product specific or port/air-based SEZs”
 
The Punjab Government, he said, has expressed its helplessness in acquiring 1000 hectares ( about 2400 acres) of land due to high costs for setting up multi-product SEZ in Amritsar in a meeting held in March this year in the inter-ministerial committee. Rather, the state has desired to set up a sector-specific SEZ.
 
“The proposal has been recommended for grant in-principle approval. Once the Government of Punjab identifies the specific product group of the proposed SEZ, the proposal will be processed for grant of necessary approval,” he said.  
 
Meanwhile, Punjab Finance Minister Surinder Singla told The Tribune that it was not easy for the state government to acquire over 2400 acres of land to set up the multi-product SEZ, since the land prices in Amritsar were very high.
 
Unlike states like Maharashtra and MP, where barren land can be acquired at a lower price, the cost of land is much higher in Punjab as almost all the area under the project would be agricultural land,” he said.
 
“Six parties had initially come forward to set up the project, but after finding the high cost of acquisition of land, they have expressed apprehensions about the economic viability of the project,” said Mr Singla.  
 
Principal Secretary, Industry, Punjab S.C. Aggarwal said, “The state government has scrapped the idea of setting up multi-product SEZ and would soon submit a proposal to set up product specific SEZ.”
 
In a letter written to the Prime Minister and subsequent meeting last month, he said, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has urged the Centre to subsidise the cost of acquisition of about 1000 acres of land to set up product-specific SEZ.
 
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