During the lockdown in April 2020, exports from Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Gujarat plummeted by 60 per cent to just Rs 5,900 crore.
However, five of them, including GIFT City SEZ, outperformed and exported more than what they did in April 2019. In April 2019, the exports were of Rs 14,700 crore, which fell by 60 per cent as the 18 functional SEZs in Gujarat continued to either work from home or functioned with minimum staff during the month-long lockdown.
Both Singapore (10.6 percent or Rs 626 cr) and China (10.4 per cent or Rs 616 crore) are among the top three countries where Gujarat exported in April 2020. The other countries where goods and services were exported from Gujarat include UAE, Netherlands, Israel, Malaysia, Belgium, Togo and Oman, during this period.
“Some of the SEZs continued to function with a day’s break during the lockdown in Gujarat. This includes IT/ITES SEZs and those manufacturing pharmaceuticals, including drugs and PPEs, to fight Covid-19,” a senior government official told The Indian Express. The official said many employees working in these SEZs were allowed to work from home and in some cases, they were also allowed to stay within the SEZ.
In April 2020, GIFT City SEZ, which is a multi-product SEZ and also houses India’s first IFSC, did a business of Rs 300 crore, which is a six per cent growth compared to Rs 283 crore last year.
Apart from GIFT City, IT/ITES SEZs like L&T Limited in Ankhol, Vadodara, Tata Consultancy Services in Gandhinagar and Calica Constructions and Impex Pvt Ltd have improved upon their performance during the lockdown. Jubilant Infrastructure Ltd, a chemical SEZ in Vaghra, Bharuch, also saw 107 per cent increase in exports for April.
However, not all IT/ITES SEZs are performing well. Exports from Ganesh Infrastructure Pvt Ltd at Daskroi in Ahmedabad and Electronic Park SEZ in Gandhinagar were down by 64 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively. GIDC Apparel Park in Ahmedabad which exported apparel worth
Rs 12.65 crore in April 2019, did not open during the month of April and saw zero exports.
Surat Apparel Park, too, performed poorly, doing business of just Rs 1 crore compared to the Rs 11 crore worth of exports in April 2019. The multi-product Surat Special Economic Zone at Sachin in Surat and Aspen Infrastructure Ltd, the engineering SEZ at Waghodia, Vadodara, saw 96 per cent and 94 per cent dip in exports during April 2020. Even larger SEZs like Adani Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) perfo-rmed poorly with exports down by 69 per cent, while Kandla Special Economic Zone also saw 62 per cent decline in exports.
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