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High level panel recommends review of SEZ Act

A high level committee panel recommends review of SEZ Act and asked the government to review the following concerns. The government should ban transfer of common property and agricultural land * Concerns of tribals and farmers remain unattended under the SEZ Act * The status of ‘deemed foreign territory’ to SEZs stands to undermine the institutions set up under Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 and other local governance bodies. The Act says that grievances related to the SEZs can only be filed with courts designated by the respective state governments, which will only be for trials related to civil and other matters of SEZ. So other court can try a case unless it goes through the designated court first. “Building of a physical boundary around the SEZ and restricting entry to authorised persons only mean it would be difficult for any individual or civil society groups and independent agencies to enter the area without prior approval of the development commissioner,”

UL Cyberpark to get SEZ status

UL Cyberpark promoted by ‘Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society’ coming up at 25.11 acres in Nellikode (between Trichur and Mangalore) is to be developed in two phases. The park will have a built up area of 3.1 million sq.ft and the first phase is to get operational by 2011 with 1.4 million sq.ft. This is a first kind of SEZ which is owned and operated by a co-operative society. Among other first, it is also India’s first fully green certified IT park.

DLF requess for denotification for 4 SEZ

The Board of Approvals on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) has agreed to denotify four zones of real estate major DLF. DLF is interested now to develop commercial projects on 100 acres in 4 states viz. Gandhinagar, Sonepat, Kolkatta and Bhubaneshwar. However, the company has to repay all tax benefits that it availed of while developing these.

Concessions for power plants in SEZ

Govt. of India has issued fresh guidelines related to power generation in SEZ. According to the new guideline, a power plant will enjoy tax benefits akin to other industries in the SEZ. If the power plant is set up in the processing area, it will enjoy duty free capital equipment, raw material feedstock and other consumables for power generation. However, if the power generation unit is set up outside the processing area, then the benefits will be limited to that of duty free capital equipment but will not extend to consumables. For ports, there will be clear demarcation of processing area and accounts have to be maintained separately for power generation units.

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