VSEZ Exports cross Rs.67,000 crores
Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone, a Central Government SEZ was set up to facilitate the development of SEZs and the 100% EOUs and to promote exports from all the SEZs under its jurisdiction which comprises Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh and Yanam. The main objective of the SEZ Scheme is to attract foreign investment, earn foreign exchange, create the state of the art infrastructure facilities and generate economic activity and employment in the SEZs. Ever since Ms. Sobhana KS Rao, IFS took over as the Development Commissioner at VSEZ, there is a flurry of activity and growth.
In the Financial year ended on March 31, 2017 VSEZ Zone earned Exports of Rs.67,000 Crores.
Ms. Sobhana says the SEZs offer well developed infrastructure facilities such as well developed plots, ready-built up spaces to cater to all the industrial requirements.
Here comes the pivotal role of a Development Commissioner to facilitate and guide the entrepreneur, promote the SEZ Scheme and the incentives/benefits available to the entrepreneur and its advantages over other schemes. The primary role is to facilitate and promote exports, coordination with other departments to facilitate the entrepreneurs to address the issues for speedy implementation of the SEZs. A trade facilitation centre is operational at VSEZ to facilitate and guide the entrepreneurs.
With the enactment of the SEZ Act, several new SEZs have come up in the country. Investors Public or Private can set up an SEZ, these investors called the SEZ Developers, provide the requisite infrastructure and invite units into their SEZs. Presently, out of the total notified SEZs in the country, the number of Operational SEZs in Andhra Pradesh are 21, Telangana 30 and Chhattisgarh 1. The APIIC and TSIIC are the largest Developers in the States of AP and Telangana, she said.
Elaborating the steps taken to boost exports she said that after taking over charge as Development Commissioner, we have organised road-shows, promotional campaigns, stake holder meetings to promote SEZs and to familiarise the initiatives/steps taken by the Government to promote exports. We have also organised regular interaction meetings, SEZ Connect Programme, Out reach programmes with all the stake holders which has helped to identify the issues that are hampering the growth of the exports and worked in that direction to promote exports. Regular visits to the SEZs also helped to visualise the operational problems/issues that are affecting the progress and growth of exports. With all the proactive steps the VSEZ has achieved an export turnover of Rs.67,926.70 crores during the year 2016-17 and hoping to touch the Rs.70,000 crores this year. We are also presenting export excellence awards under various categories/sectors to the best performing exporters to encourage them.
Explaining the statistics, she said, the SEZs under our jurisdiction have registered a positive growth in all parameters.
About the major sectors that contributed for its growth are Software, Chemical & Pharmaceuticals, Gem & Jewellery, Textile & Apparels, Leather, Building Products, Food & Agro, Services, she explained.
Ms. Sobhana said that during the recent times the zone celebrated World Environment Day and planted nearly 2500 plants/saplings in and around the zone, International Yoga Day, Swach Bharat campaigns, Blood Donation Camps, Eye-check Up camps, health check-up camps with the association of the zone units under corporate social responsibility were organised. Some of the units have provided Water cooler, E-Rickshaws for commuting workmen in the zone.
Coming to CSR Activitives in private SEZs – M/s.Brandix SEZ has provided drinking water facility in the nearby village to provide clean drinking water to the villagers. Some of the SEZs have adopted villages and providing the education, medical facilities, etc.
With regard to promotion of green energy VSEZ has set up 399 KW Solar Power Plants on the roof tops of some of the buildings. We are also encouraging the SEZs to promote green initiatives in the SEZs, she added.