A press release from the Press Information Bureau said: “The Board of Approval (BoA) also approved the conversion of the 624.786 hectare Mangalore SEZ, Mangalore from a sector-specific SEZ to a multiproduct SEZ. This change would enable the SEZ to invite units to be set up in a variety of sectors after this was made possible on account of the recent amendments to the SEZ rules following the April 18, 2013 SEZ reforms announced by the Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.”
It further said that the decision was taken at the 59th meeting of the BoA on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the fourth meeting of 2013 series on Export Oriented Units (EOUs) held on Friday under the chairmanship of Commerce Secretary S. R. Rao.
The decision has been welcomed in Mangalore’s business circles with S.T. Karkera, General Manager (Land Acquisition, Relief and Rehabilitation, Administration and Human Resources), MSEZ Ltd, saying the move would attract more investments.
Mohammed Ameen, president, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said, “It is one of the best things that could happen to Mangalore.”
Demand for land
G. Giridhar Prabhu, industrialist and former president, KCCI, said, “Now there will be demand for land offered, as more units will approach the SEZ. Even a small unit can start export activity. The area is open for all types of investments in any category of industry. That is what we were asking for, general purpose multiproduct (GPMP).
Anyone can “walk in” to the SEZ and get advantages that were not possible five years ago. He can get land, water, electricity, pollution control, effluent treatment, and access to labour from all over India.
Many medium and small scale sector industries can take raw materials such as paraxylene and convert it typically into products such PET bottles to store water, medicines and soft drinks. A possibility is raw material going from Mangalore to places such as Korea or China for breakdown into substances that can return to India for manufacture of synthetic saris, bottles and buckets.