The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed Mukesh Ambani-promoted Mumbai SEZ’s plea for speedy completion of the land acquisition process and asked the company to approach the Supreme Court because several other cases relating to the SEZ were pending before the apex court. The company, in its petition, had contended that if the land acquisition was not completed by the deadline of June 6, the entire process would lapse under the Land Acquisition Act 1894.

With slowdown in economic activities, scores of leading SEZ promoters, including Infosys, Hindalco and NIIT, have been given extension by the Commerce Ministry for developing the tax-free enclaves. However, the Board of Approval headed by Commerce Secretary GK Pillai during its meet on June 2 will consider proposals for setting up 17 new special economic zones (SEZs), including those of Larsen and Toubro, Emaar MGF and Gulf Oil Corporation.

The Commerce Ministry has received about 18 proposals for setting up special economic zones, which are likely to be considered by an empowered board after the new government assumes office later this month.

The board of approval (BoA) for special economic zones (SEZs) has entrusted its chairman, commerce secretary GK Pillai, to give more time to cash-strapped developers of SEZ projects beyond the three-year deadline to start work so that their projects do not lapse.

New guidelines issued by the commerce ministry have made setting up of power plants within Special Economic Zones (SEZs) more lucrative than outside. The guidelines, which cover both stand-alone electricity generating zones and captive units, permit sale of power to users based outside SEZs. Experts say the new regulations would make it attractive to set up a power plant inside an SEZ, as the formalities required to start such projects in SEZs are much easier compared with the non-SEZ areas.
The Government has allowed Orange Realty to set up a wholly owned subsidiary in India. The company has already received Rs 2,051 crore from IREO Investment Holding III, a Mauritius-based fund focused on setting up SEZ, IT/BPO Parks, and development of real estate projects. An IREO spokesperson said that Orange Realty's application to Foreign Investment Promotion Board was for creating a subsidiary. "Orange Realty has a mixed-use project in Gurgaon.
Six major SEZs have clipped the size of their projects, foregoing potential tax gains for them. The developers have got the commerce ministry nod to de-notify parts of their tax-free enclaves for better viability.
The Centre has approved in principle 91 SEZs for Andhra Pradesh, the highest in the country, Andhra Pradesh Major Industries Minister Dr Geetha Reddy said on Wednesday.

She told reporters here that of the 91, work for 64 SEZs were already progressing.

The state had taken care to ensure that only government land or one-crop land was acquired for SEZs, to avoid repetition of Nandigram there, the minister said.

In 1956, after Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest and crushed the democracy movement in Hungary, Communist parties of Western Europe lost nearly one-third of their members. The exodus of those outraged by the Kremlin's intolerance was described as ''the revolt of the intellectuals.''