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Special zones become torchbearers of growth

, TNN|
Last Updated: Jan 18, 2007, 02.33 AM IST|Original: Jan 18, 2007, 02.33 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The SEZ ferment has begun and, before you know, it could turn into a revolution. SEZs, in the news for land issues and projected revenue drains, has managed to attract investment of a whopping Rs 11,900 crore in the last eleven months since the SEZ rules were notified.

As many as 63 SEZs have been notified since February 2006 and a total of 15,812 additional jobs created. According to estimates made by the ministry of commerce & industry, total investments in SEZs was likely to go up to Rs 58,000 crore and employment generation increase to 8.9 lakh by 2009 when most notified SEZs would begin operating and production in the operational ones would gather steam.

While about 60% of the notified SEZs are in the IT or the IT-enabled services sectors, a number of multi-product SEZs and sector-specific SEZs in the area of pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, chemicals & petrochemicals, textiles, automobiles and components, electronics and engineering products have also been notified.

Speaking to ET, commerce ministry sources pointed out that the potential revenue loss being talked about by the finance ministry was notional while the investments that have come into the zones was real. ���Without the SEZ policy, it would have been impossible to attract such large investments over such a short period of time. The fact that lakhs of jobs are to be created in the SEZs, makes the case for SEZs even stronger,��� an official said.

Among states, the four southern states have received the giant���s share (about 60%) of SEZs, with Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka leading the pack.
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