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Exports from SEZs shows a growth of 192%
Sep '08
Though SEZs have landed into great controversies, yet their exports registered a substantial growth of 192% between 2005-06 to 2007-08 and in 2008-09, SEZs exports are likely to phenomenally go up to 451%, according to The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

In 2005-06, after the SEZ Act came into being, exports from SEZs, according to official estimates were Rs. 22840 crore which went up to Rs. 66638 crore in 2007-08, clearly showing a growth of 192%, further says the ASSOCHAM assessment.

Interestingly, in 2005-06, the contribution of SEZs exports to total exports of India in percentage terms works out to be 5.004% as its total exports in terms of volume were measured at Rs.456417.94 crore.

In 2007-08, the total exports of India as per official figure between April-December are estimated at Rs.478522.52 crore, thus their contributions to total domestic exports have gone up from 5.004% in 2005-06 to 13.93% in first 9 months of 2007-08. For fiscal 2007-08, the figures available with ASSOCHAM are only upto April-December.

Releasing the Chamber assessment, the ASSOCHAM President, Mr. Sajjan Jindal said that by 2011-12, the ASSOCHAM expects SEZs exports going up to over Rs. 515891.2 crores as by then realistically all the controversies relating to SEZs would be resolved.

According to ASSOCHAM estimates, as far as employment from SEZs is concerned, it has projected that by 2011-12, the SEZs in totality are expected to create direct employment opportunity for 10 million skilled workforce.

The official estimate shows that by March 2008, the SEZs have created direct employment opportunities for 1 million people which by December 2009 would go up to more than 2 million people.

As on date, 90 SEZs are operational and 253 have been notified after enactment of SEZ Act. In the 90 operational SEZs, there are only 353 units that have come up.

Coming back to the issue of expected investment in new generation Special Economic Zones, the ASSOCHAM is optimistic that by end of 11th five year plan period, the SEZs would attract investments volume of Rs. 10 lakh crore.

As per official estimates, the SEZs by December 2009 would receive investments to an extent of nearly Rs. 3 lakh crore.

The ASSOCHAM estimates also say that ever since the SEZ Act came into being in 2005, their success ratio has been observed much higher in North and Eastern part of the country.

This comprising Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Orissa and West Bengal. This is because in this region, the approvals were given for multi product SEZs.

While, this has not been the case in Southern and Western part consisting of Andhra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat, Maharasthra, Goa etc in this region, the approvals were given more for ITeS SEZs which did not create many job opportunities.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India

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