JNPT lines up India’s first port SEZ

India’s first special economic zone exclusively for a port will soon be developed by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) on 276 hectares of land near Belpada-Karal villages on the Panvel-Uran road. Revealing that JNPT will develop the country’s first SEZ for a port, its chairman S S Hussain,an IAS officer of the 1976 batch, said the SEZ would comprise both processing and non-processing units to meet the requirements of not only JNPT but also the proposed airport coming up near Navi Mumbai. “It will be the first of its kind in India,’’ he said, adding that once the formalities were completed, the government would ensure that the project was completed within a specified time period. A senior JNPT official said that while this was JNPT’s first attempt, port SEZs already existed in China and Dubai on huge tracts of lands. “In China, the port SEZ has been developed on 2000 sq km of land, while in Dubai, an area of 600 sq km has been allocated. Before our drafting our proposal,we studied these SEZs too,’’ he said. The official claimed the Rs 3000-crore SEZ would generate jobs for 30,000 people in leather, plastic, electronic goods and furniture production. “There will be a logistics and hardware park, and in addition, the SEZ will cater to the needs of the IT sector. We propose to undertake 70 per cent processing activity and 30 per cent nonprocessing activity,’’ he said. The official said that as far as implementation was concerned, there were three options before the JNPT board: to develop the SEZ itself, do it in collaboration with a developer or entrust the entire task to a private developer. For JNPT, setting up the SEZ and completing it within a time-bound period will not be a difficult task since the entire land required for it is already in its possession.

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