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Published on 18/01/2020 5:21:41 PM | Source: IANS

Tripura SEZ along Bangladesh to be multi-sector one

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The Rs 1,550 crore special economic zone (SEZ), to be set up along the Bangladesh border in Tripura, would be a multi-sector SEZ and not just agro-based food processing SEZ, official said here on Saturday.

The Centre has decided that all notified SEZs will be deemed to be a multi-sector SEZ.

"According to the previous notification, the proposed Tripura SEZ at Paschim Jalefa (near the India-Bangladesh border town of Sabroom) in south Tripura was to be agro-based food processing SEZ," said a Tripura Industries and Commerce Department official.

The SEZ is expected to open new avenues and attract private investment across sectors considering its proximity to Bangladesh's Chittagong international sea port.

A bridge -- Maitri Setu -- is under construction across the Feni river near the proposed SEZ. On completion by April, it will connect Tripura with southeast Bangladesh and facilitate transportation of goods to the Chittagong port, which is around 70 km from Sabroom.

The official said the SEZ, to be developed by the Tripura Industrial Development Corp, could create 12,000 skilled jobs. Rubber-based industries, textile and apparel units, bamboo and agri-food processing industries will be set up in the SEZ.

"The Centre will allow 100 per cent income tax exemption on exports for SEZ units under Section 10AA of the Income Tax Act for the first five years. Exemptions from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and supplies to SEZs will be zero under IGST Act," he said.

Addressing an event, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said on the request of the state government, the Centre decided to set up the SEZ with an aim to attract Bangladeshi investors. They could set up tea and rubber-based industries in the SEZ, he said.

The state would get sincere support from Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, slated to visit Tripura in February, he said.

The Chief Minister said 25 acres of land had been acquired for the SEZ.

At an expenditure of Rs 1,150 crore, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has extended railway lines up to two bordering sub-divisional towns of Sabroom and Belonia.

The government-owned IRCON International has also been laying 12.23 km rail at a cost of Rs 972 crore to link Agartala with the Bangladeshi railway network at Akhaura. The Agartala-Akhaura railway line would facilitate easier ferrying of goods.

Also, the journey distance between Agartala and Kolkata, via Bangladesh, will come down by a third, from 1,613 km through mountainous terrain via Meghalaya and Assam, to 514 km.