In these times of economic anxiety and recession,Haryana Governor A R Kidwai is hopeful that the 98 proposals of the Special Economic Zones( SEZs) will bring an investment of Rs 2 lakh crore to the state,besides employment to 21 lakh people. Majority of these proposals are yet to materialise,but the government hopes seem to be still high.
Addressing the state legislators on the first day of the budget session of the Assembly,Kidwai said the state has received 98 proposals for the setting up Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Of these,63 proposals have been granted in principle approval by the Central Government,he said.
He said up to December 2008,seven SEZ proposals were received with a projected investment of about Rs 3,820 crore and employment potential for one lakh persons. Master plans have been approved for nine SEZs and development works are at various stages of completion at four sites.
However,things have changed in the last quarter and majority big companies are having second thoughts and are either slowing down the process to start or to shelve the projects.
The biggest proposal of the Reliance Industries Limited to set up an SEZ at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore on 25,000 acres was slashed to half its size due to the area cap. Now,the recession has brought its efforts to acquire land in Gurgaon and Jhajjar to a halt. The other big projects from DLF and Unitech were also revised and delayed.
Many of the small size SEZs,which were proposed in the IT sector,were the worst hit and hardly made any progress in the last part of 2008. Many companies which were offered land in the prime location of Gurgaon surrendered their plots and took refund many delayed their payments. The government is already planning to provide a cushion to the investors in form of facilities and concession. A legislation in this regard is also on cards.
Giving details,Kidwai said the state has 1,347 large and medium units and about 80,000 small scale units. The exports from Haryana during 2007-08 crossed Rs 30,000 crore. The state has so far received foreign direct investment (FDI) of Rs 12,500 crore of which an investment of Rs 9,000 crore has come up after the implementation of the Industrial Policy of 2005.
The state witnessed an unprecedented flow of investment of about Rs 40,000 crore and investment of more than Rs 90,000 crore is in the pipeline,he said. The Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE) ranked Haryana at the top amongst the Indian states,with per capita investment of Rs 78,500,in its report for September,2007. It was ranked at number 13,five years ago,he said.