Hindalco seeks more time for Odisha SEZ



    New Delhi, Aug 22

    Aditya Birla Group firm Hindalco Industries Ltd has sought more time from the government to set up its aluminium and aluminium products special economic zone (SEZ) in Odisha as it is facing problems in land acquisition.
    The company’s request will be considered by the 19-member Board of Approval (BoA) chaired by Commerce Secretary SR Rao at its meeting on August 30.
    It was granted in-principle approval on August 22, 2006 to set up the SEZ over an area of 855 hectares. “Out of this area, formal approval was granted for 115.70 hectares…the same was notified on 13th March, 2008,” the agenda note of the BoA meeting said.
    However, it said the validity of formal approval for 115.70 hectares expired on July 29, 2010 and the validity of in-principle approval for 739.30 hectares (i.e. the remaining part of 855 hectares) ended on August 21, 2007.
    The developer is facing problem in land acquisition and rehabilitation of the affected people, the note said.
    It added: “The proposal is placed before BoA for its consideration.”
    Several other SEZs have faced similar problems due to which many have surrendered their projects or are seeking more time to execute the projects.
    SEZs, which were once looked upon as major vehicles for investment and export promotion, started losing sheen after the global meltdown.
    However, the government has recently announced an incentive package, including relaxation in minimum land requirement, to revive investor interest in SEZs.
    The minimum land area requirement for setting up of tax- free zones was reduced to half and for IT and ITeS SEZs, the government has ended the ceiling.
    During April-June, exports from these zones stood at $ Rs 1.13 lakh crore. During the same period, the country’s overall exports aggregated to Rs 4.05 lakh crore. In 2012-13, exports from SEZs accounted for 29.12 per cent of the country’s total exports of Rs 16.35 lakh crore. (PTI)