THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY AND MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF POWER (SHRI JAIRAM RAMESH): Sir, I beg to lay this Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce on the functioning of Special Economic Zones in its 83rd Report had made 46 recommendations. The Action Taken Note on the Report was sent to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat on 18th October, 2007. The main observations/recommendations made by the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce were on:
• SEZ Policy to be made people-friendly and for achieving export led industrial growth.
• Further SEZs to be notified only after public concerns are duly addressed • Usage of land for SEZ purposes.
« Inclusion of a representative of Ministry of Agriculture on the Board of Approval.
• Fixing an upper limit to SEZ area and increasing the processing area to 50%.
• Extension of tax holiday to IT sector for a further period of 10 more years.
• Amendment to the Land Acquisition Act, 1984 and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy.
• Governance issues relating to SEZs.
• Issues relating to social infrastructure such as housing and need for new townships for the benefit of employees, workers and other stakeholders.
• The need for creation of residential facilities for workers to avoid proliferation of shanty towns in the neighboring areas * Laid on the Table and also placed in Library, See No. LT 8759/2008 • Issues relating to fiscal concessions with a view to achieving the objectives of the Policy.
• Augmentation of Custom staff in SEZs and creation of posts for newly notified SEZs.
• Non-dilution of labour laws in SEZs.
Out of the 46 recommendations/observations, 27 have been accepted/partly accepted. Of these 13 recommendations on which action is required to be taken by the State Governments/other Departments, have been forwarded to them for action and are being duly followed up. 16 recommendations have not been accepted, but those recommendations on which action can be taken by the State Governments/other Departments have been duly forwarded for appropriate action. Three recommendations/observations have been taken due note of. An updated Action Taken Note on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the 83rd Report of the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on the functioning of Special Economic Zones is annexed.