CENTRAL LEGISLATION ON SEZs ON THE ANVIL: JAITLEY
Date : 21 Feb 2003
Location : New Delhi
In order to give legal stability to the policies relating to Special Economic Zones (SEZs), government have initiated steps for a central legislation, Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Commerce & Industry, said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.
He further said that the central government has so far sanctioned 45 Agri Export Zones (AEZs) in 17 different States. The total likely investment estimated in these AEZs will be around Rs. 1248 crores. About Rs. 362 crore will flow from various central government agencies like Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), National Horticulture Board, Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Agriculture and Rs. 195 crore and Rs. 691 crore will be contributed by state governments and private enterprises respectively.
India and its neighbouring countries namely Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives are members of SAARC Preferential Trade Arrangement (SAPTA) which was signed on 11th April, 1993 at the 7th SAARC Summit held in Dhaka. The final objective of the negotiation under SAPTA is the achievement of South Asian Free Trade (SAFTA). In the SAARC Summit held in Colombo in July 1998, the Prime Minister of India had indicated that India would be willing to consider entering into bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with SAARC countries interested in moving faster towards trade liberalisation. Sri Lanka responded positively to this offer and India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement was signed on 28th December, 1998. A proposal for a bilateral Preferential Trade Arrangement between India-Afghanistan is also under negotiation. India is also a party to the Bangkok Agreement under which concessions have been exchanged with the other participating countries, namely, Bangladesh, Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka. China has also acceded to the Bangkok Agreement recently but presently no concessions have been exchanged between India and China under the Agreement, he said.