BoA to consider Posco's plea to give more time for Odisha SEZ

BoA to consider Posco's plea to give more time for Odisha SEZ New Delhi: The Board of Approval (BoA) will consider on November 8 a proposal by Posco India Pvt Ltd seeking more time from the Commerce Ministry to set up Rs 52,000-crore multi-product SEZ in Odisha.

The inter-ministerial BoA, chaired by Commerce Secretary S R Rao, will consider the request from Posco subsidiary Posco India Pvt Ltd in their meeting.

"The developer has applied for further extension of one year on the grounds that land is not encroachment free till date and that encroachment removal and compensation disbursement process is still going on," according to the agenda note of the BoA.

Posco-India Pvt Ltd had proposed setting up multi-product SEZ in an area of 1,620.496 hectares in Jagatsinghpur (Odhisa). The plan got approval in 2006.

The developer has so far been granted seven extensions.

Development Commissioner of the Falta Special Economic Zone has recommended extension of in-principle approval by one year in "view of the fact that it is a project of promise for India and is also one of the largest FDI projects in India".

Due to protests against land acquisition by the local villagers in Odhisa, Posco has not been able to get the required land for development of its tax-free zone and the issue has been pending for several years.

Besides Posco, several other SEZ developers, including those of Navi Mumbai SEZ, Unitech Infracon, TCS and Parsvnath Infra Ltd, have asked for extension of time to execute their projects.

SEZs, which were once major vehicles for investment and export promotion, started losing sheen after the global meltdown and imposition of minimum alternate tax.

As many as 58 SEZ developers have surrendered projects due to various reasons till 31 July. Exports from SEZs grew by about 31 percent to Rs 4.76 lakh crore during 2012-13.