Seven state-run special economic zones accounted for about half of the Rs 99,689-crore (Rs 996.89 billion) exports from the tax-free enclaves in 2008-09 even as private players tried to keep their projects afloat in the wake of the global downturn.
Outward shipments from the government-owned SEZ in Kandla, Santacruz, Noida, Madras, Cochin, Falta and Vishakhapatnam grew by 16 per cent to Rs 45,777 crore (Rs 457.77 billion) in the last fiscal from Rs 39,275 crore (Rs 392.75 billion) in the previous year, the outcome Budget of the ministry of commerce said.
Overseas sales from the 91 SEZs which have commenced exports as on March 31, 2009 was Rs 99,689 crore (Rs 996.89 billion) in 2008-09 registering an increase of about 50 per cent, it said.
The Noida multi-product SEZ alone brought Rs 16,295 crore (Rs 162.95 billion) or about 36 per cent of the export earnings of the state-owned zones. Exports from the SEZs in Cochin and Mumbai (Santacruz) were more than Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) each.
While the SEZs have attracted over Rs 98,000 crore (Rs 980 billion) investment, several private players including realty major DLF and K Raheja Universal have sought to surrender their SEZs given the current global economic downturn.
Besides, companies like Satyam Computer Services and Cognizant Technology Solutions have asked for more time from the government to complete their projects.
Since 2006, when the SEZ Act was notified, formal approvals have been granted for setting up 568 SEZs, of which 315 have been notified.