India’s first Coastal Economic Zone (CEZ) is to come up in Andhra Pradesh. The CEZ will be at least 450 km long stretch, in areas by the sea where major international manufacturing units would be set up. Visakhapatnam, Machilipatnam, Donakonda, Krishnapatnam or Srikalahasti-Yerpedu will have CEZ.
They would set labour intensive industries like footwear, clothing and electronics. The project is likely to be announced in the Union Budget for the year 2017-18. The budget might provide a 10- year long tax exemption to all the manufacturing units in the CEZs.
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya said that the CEZ to be set up near deep-draft ports, which will be capable of accommodating very large and heavily loaded ships. According to Panagariya, the CEZs must provide business friendly environment, flexible labour laws and the zones should also create urban spaces to house local workers.
The CM said, “AP itself can have two CEZs (Gangavaram-Visakhapatnam node and Krishnapatnam node). We are looking at both. If necessary, we will make a field visit to the ports before taking a final call. The CEZs will come up in a large extent, say 400-500 sq km area, and within that there will be clusters. Idea is to create an ecosystem to bring large scale manufacturers that provide jobs to semi or low-skilled workers.”
A CEZ will also be set up in Gujarat. The first CEZs in the world came up in Shenzhen and Guangzhou provinces in China and are spread across Rs 2,500 sq km each.