Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hassan & SEZ

Last week was indeed hectic with lot of confussion and problems. This includes negotiation with police over an accident. Continuing in this spirit of understanding and growth of this blog I would like to pour in my views on SEZ's comming up at Hassan,
The trip was unexpected and I went there(Hassan) on 22nd night. A very silent town but most of the times it comes into news for the constant communial riots and other political issues. The most important of all is Mr HD Devegowda's constituency is Hassan. Politics apart, On 23rd I visited a small temple at Mavinkere(25 - 30 KM from Hassan) and from there I went to Ram Devara Katte ( A part of Hemavathi River Power Project Plant). A Self contained unit capable of producing 2.5MGD capacity. On 24th I took a walk to SEZ site comming up at hassan. The SEZ will occupy 2500 Acre of land with state of the art facilities. However the work is going on very slowly and currently there is no direct railway link from Bangalore to Hassan. I recon the major draw back of this project will be the raiway link which is considered very vital. However the work on the railway line is going on and is expected to be completed by March 2005.
Concept of Special Economic Zones In India, in order to promote foreign investments in the manufacturing and allied sectors for enabling exports, domestic regulations/ restrictions need to be reduced and infrastructure inadequacies removed.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) aim to provide a hassle free environment by reducing and simplifying procedures, normally encountered for operation of a business activity as well as substantially upgrading the basic infrastructure facilities in and around them. SEZs are specifically delineated duty – free enclaves, treated as foreign territories for the purpose of industrial, service and trade operations. The SEZs enjoy the exemption of custom duties and a liberal regime in respect of other levies. The present SEZ scheme in India seeks to create a simple and procedurally transparent system for enhancing productivity and ease of doing business in India. SEZs in India can be developed in public, private or joint sectors, or by state governments and lay emphasis on active participation of the private sector in development of the SEZs. The objective is to establish large, self – contained areas supported by world class infrastructure oriented towards exports.
The rationale for setting up of an SEZ could be summarised as follows:
• Providing domestic/foreign companies a conducive environment to set up a base for international trade activities.
• Boost exports and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country • Exploit opportunities from the free trade regime
Special Economic Zones in India
In line with the SEZ policy a number of state governments in India are keen on developing/ promoting SEZs in their respective states with or without participation by the private sector. The SEZs currently planned in the country include Dronagiri (Navi Mumbai) in Maharashtra, Nanguneri in Tamilnadu, Rambili in Andhra Pradesh and Gopalpur in Orissa. Further, some of the existing EPZs have also been converted into SEZs, such as Kochi in Kerala, Kandla and Surat in Gujarat and Santa Cruz in Mumbai.
Project Profile
Hassan Special Economic Zone, Karnataka
Karnataka’s pioneering efforts
The Government of Karnataka (GoK) has been one of the front-runners in economic reforms and has been actively pursuing development and provision of infrastructure services through various forms of public private partnerships. Some of the projects, including those with private sector participation, include railway projects (USD 400 mn), urban infrastructure (USD 250 mn), the new international airport at Bangalore (USD 230 mn), state highways and rural roads (USD 297 mn) and sea-port development (USD 160 mn). Other large infrastructure development initiatives, including minor sea-ports and minor airports development are presently in the planning stage. At present, Karnataka does not have a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) or an Export Processing Zone (EPZ). The only facility focusing on such exports is the EPIP at Whitefield near Bangalore. To develop Karnataka as the industrial and technology hub in the southern part of India. Government of Karnataka (GoK) has proposed to set up a SEZ close to Hassan town within an area of about 1000 hectares (Hassan SEZ). GoK also proposes to select a private investor to develop, operate and maintain the SEZ under a joint venture, through a competitive bidding process. Hassan SEZ would not only provide high quality infrastructure facilities but also provide unique location/site specific advantages such as trained manpower, raw material, climatic conditions etc GoK has issued the necessary notifications as required by Government of India (GoI) for the implementation of the SEZ, which would simplify the procedures and facilitate the development of the SEZ and the operation of business units within it.

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