The government will next week consider requests from Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Group firms and other companies for extension of validity for their different special economic zones.
The Board of Approval (BoA) headed by Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar will examine the proposal from Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd, promoted by Ambani and his associate Anand Jain, to split its 1,233 hectares SEZ project into five separate tax-free zones.
In all, extensions have been sought for 53 SEZ projects being developed by Reliance Group, Parsavnath, Unitech, Mahindra and Mahindra, GMR and Uttam Galva. Several of these projects have already been granted extra time to execute their projects.
In their requests to the Commerce Ministry, developers have cited different reasons for seeking an extension.
These include problems related to acquisition of land, poor response from entrepreneurs for setting up units due to non-availability of fiscal benefits and uncertainties because of the proposed direct tax code.
Imposition of minimum alternate tax has also been a dampener for the SEZ projects, an official said.
As many as six projects belonging to Ambani and RIL will come up for discussion at the BoA meeting.
Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd has sought a second extension for three of its IT/ITeS special economic zones at Ulwe, in Maharashtra. Reliance Haryana SEZ Ltd has also sought more time to execute its project.
The 5,000-hectare Mumbai SEZ, in which Rs 1,786 crore (Rs 17.86 billion) has already been invested, needs more time since the developer (RIL) has been able to acquire only 1,874 hectares of land.
"It needs more time to complete the land acquisition process," the official said. The BoA is scheduled to meet on May 31.