On January 1, 2000, India decided to set up special economic zones to provide an internationally competitive environment for exports.
The government recently set a record by clearing Rs 100,000 crore (Rs 1,000 billion) of investment in special economic zones. These investments are planned to convert over 40,000 hectares of land into SEZs and create jobs for over 500,000 people. The commerce ministry has also lifted the cap on SEZ from the existing 150.
But now, the finance and commerce ministries have locked horns over SEZs. The finance ministry claims that SEZs would lead to a revenue loss of Rs 92,000 crore (Rs 920 billion), the commerce ministry, says the government will gain Rs 44,000 crore (Rs 440 billion).
Many say that this is a sophisticated land-grab exercise as there is no transparency in the SEZ development plans.
What do you think about SEZs? Do you think that SEZs will boost the country's economy? Do you think that they will create jobs as claimed? Or will the benefits lead to revenue losses and misuse of land?
Tell us what you think!