8 SEZs in Punjab hinterland
Shakti S. Singh
Haryana is planning to set up eight more special economic zones, this time in the hinterland, namely Karnal, Ambala, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Rewari, Mahendragarh and Mewat districts, which have seen little industrialisation in the last few decades compared to Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonepat.
According to P.K. Chaudhary, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary (Industries), the Central government is expected to give its consent soon. The new projects will be in addition to the 10 SEZs already approved for the state. A private sector SEZ, worth Rs 400 billion ($9.038 billion), is being set up by Reliance Industries in collaboration with the state government.
To give a fillip to industry in Haryana, the Centre had approved the establishment of a multi-product SEZ in Amritsar. Quark has set up an IT SEZ at Mohali, and at least three SEZs are coming up in Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Ropar. Two industrial clusters, textile cluster in Ludhiana and wool and woolen garments cluster in Amritsar under the Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme of Government of India, have been sanctioned. Apart from these, SEZs for sports goods, textile, IT and biotechnology have been established in Jalandhar, Bathinda, Mohali and Dera Bassi respectively.
The Punjab government also plans to invest Rs 200 crore for development of Mohali as an IT hub catering to north India.
Haryana plans special tourism zones
The Haryana government is considering a proposal to set up special tourism zones on the pattern of SEZs in the state. The aim is to develop places of historical importance as tourist destinations. Minister of State for Tourism, Sports, Culture and Forests Kiran Chaudhary said that the project would "promote the state's rich cultural heritage in a big way." The minister also revealed that her government was contemplating a proposal to set up a sports city in the state to provide all possible facilities for players. She said that sports persons would be trained at the Sports City in such a manner that they excel at national and international meets and bring laurels to the state and the country. Government has been implementing many schemes to encourage the sports persons.
[20 February 2006]