HCL Technologies has sought government approval to set up a new IT/ITeS special economic zone (SEZ) in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, with a proposed investment of Rs 408.48 crore. The company's proposal will be considered by an inter-ministerial Board of Approval, headed by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, at its meeting on June 19, a commerce ministry official said.
HCL Technologies has proposed to develop the project at an area of 10.43 hectares. The board would also consider cancellation of formal approval given to OSE Infrastructure as the developer has not made any significant progress on the the project. The company was developing an IT special economic zone in Noida. In order to boost the country's exports and the manufacturing sector, the government in 2005 passed a law for SEZs, which contribute about 25 per cent in the country's total exports.
Units and developers of these zones enjoy tax and non-fiscal benefits besides clearance from a single window mechanism. There are 223 operational SEZs with 5,146 units from various sectors such as IT, pharma, textile, food processing, leather, biotechnology and diamond polishing. Most of these zones are operational in states including Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra. According to the industry players, imposition of minimum alternate tax and dividend distribution tax have impacted the growth of these zones.
The commerce and industry ministry has time and again urged its finance counterpart to reduce or remove these taxes. The ministry has recently constituted a group, headed by Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani, to study the SEZ policy.