History of SEZs in India

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The History of SEZs in India suggests that the seeds of the basic concept of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) were sown in the mid sixties. Further, the History of SEZs in India suggests that the basic model of the present day Indian Special Economic Zone was structured with the establishment of the first Export Processing Zone (EPZ) at Kandla in the year 1965. Several other Export Processing Zones were set up at various parts of India in the subsequent years. The lack of good Government of India economic policy and inefficient management soon became the detrimental factors for the success of these Export Processing Zones. Thus, the performance of these Export Processing Zones of India fell short of expectations.

The modern day Special Economic Zone came in to existence because the economic reforms incorporated in the early 1990s did not resulted in the overall growth of the Indian economy. The SEZ policy of India was devised to act as a catalyst to promote the economic growth attained in the early 1990. The economic reforms incorporated during the 1990s did not produce the desired results. The Indian manufacturing sector witnessed a sudden dip in the overall growth of the industry, during the second-half of 1990s. The History of SEZs in India suggests that red tape, lengthy administrative procedures, rigid labor laws and poor physical infrastructural facilities were the main cause of deterioration of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) inflow in to India. Further, the Indian markets were not mature enough to facilitate easy entry of Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) in to the Indian economic system. Furthermore, the legal framework of Indian economy was not strong enough to prevent misuse of Indian markets by the foreign investors. Thus, the lack of investor friendly environment in India prevented growth of Indian industry, in spite of implementation of liberal economic policy by the central government. This resulted in the formation of a much larger and more efficient form of their predecessors with world-class infrastructural facility.

The History of SEZs in India suggests that the present day Special Economic Zone policies of India are well complimented by the provisions of the Acts and Rules of Special Economic Zone. A number of meetings were held across India for the formulation of - 'The Special Economic Zones Act, 2005', which was subsequently passed by Parliament in May 2005. The SEZ Act, 2005 and SEZ Rules became effective on and from 10th February 2006. The SEZ Act 2005 defines the key role for the State Governments in Export Promotion and creation of infrastructural facilities. A Single Window SEZ approval mechanism has been facilitated through a 19 member inter-ministerial SEZ Board of Approval or BOA. And the decision of the SEZ Board of Approval is binding and final.

Some of the important SEZ in India are as follows -
  • Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services - SEZ on biotechnology sector in Bangalore's Electronics City, over an area of 43 acres
  • Shree Renuka Sugars Limited - SEZ on sugarcane processing complex covering 100 hectares, comprising a sugar plant, power station and distillery, at Burlatti in Belgaum district
  • Ittina Properties Private Limited and three other - SEZs in IT sector, covering electronics, hardware and software sectors in Bangalore, over an area of 15.732 hectares
  • Wipro Infotech - SEZ on IT / ITES at Electronics City, Sarajpur Bangalore
  • Hewlett Packard India Software Operation Pvt. Ltd. - SEZ on IT
  • Food processing and related SEZ services in Hassan, over an area of 157.91 hectares
  • SEZs on pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and chemical sectors in Hassan, covering of 281.21 hectares
  • SEEPZ - Andheri (East), Mumbai
  • Khopata - Multi-product, Mumbai
  • Navi Mumbai - Multi-product, Mumbai
  • Salt Lake Electronic City, West Bengal
  • Manikanchan - Jems and jewelery, West Bengal
  • Calcutta Leather Complex, West Bengal
  • Falta food processing unit, West Bengal

Last Updated on May 29, 2015