The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), which
creates infrastructure for industry in the state, in its policy document stated
that there are three models adopted for setting up SEZs — those that would be
developed by the MIDC, those in public private partnership and the ones that
were to be developed by joint ventures. What worries the ministry is that the
investors of 16 approved SEZs have withdrawn their proposals in the last one
year. The new industrial policy, which will also deal with promoting SEZs, will
be introduced in the next state session. "Of the 117 SEZs which were approved,
only 63 have materialised and only 24 SEZs are functioning,” said MIDC CEO Dr K
Shivaji. The failure of SEZs has been attributed to the hurdles in land
acquisition which has led to cost escalation of projects or forced investors to
withdraw and the new land acquisition bill is likely to make matters more
complicated as it makes market price mandatory for land acquired from the
farmers for projects.
“This sop is likely to see industries continue with their SEZs in the state and
not pull out. Earlier MIDC had proposed to cancel about 20 of the 30 SEZs
indentified by the state terming it non-feasible because of the heavy taxation
in the proposed direct tax code and slow improvement in the economy of the US
and European countries,'' said Shivaji.
While in Pune Ajit Relekar, regional officer of SEZ and IT, said that earlier
there were 17 proposed SEZs in the district of which 13 are monitored by MIDC.
“Though a few of them have approached for lay out sanctions there are others who
have yet to take a decision on starting the SEZ,” said Relekar. He said sops
would definitely benefit the SEZ.
Dr Shivaji said SEZ had been proposed anticipating demand for products in
engineering and information technology sectors and with the demand not being
there, the companies were beginning to pull out.
“We had denotified five SEZ and the rest would be denotified after completion of
the routine procedure,” he said. The finance department had maintained that
fiscal deficit of the state was around Rs 22,000 crore and investment could have
reduced the deficit, add financial department official. However industry
officials are depending heavily on the domestic investors who are interested in
“Areas such as Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Aurangabad, is much better than most
other states. The 25 SEZs in the district that are in the formal stage of
implementation have projected an aggregate investment of Rs 38,739 crore
spanning 2,133 hectare.
Indian Express, India, dated