Published On:August 18 2015
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Mukesh Ambani's Navi Mumbai SEZ plan may be scrapped.

Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani and his associate Anand Jain’s ambitious proposal for a multi-product SEZ at Dronagiri, Navi Mumbai, may finally face the axe due to slow progress in its implementation, if the Maharashtra government doesn’t step in to save it.

The Development Commissioner (DC) of the zone has recommended to the Centre that the request of the developer - Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd. (NMSEZ) - for a sixth extension of the formal approval for the multi-product SEZ should be rejected as it has not managed to get the recommendation of the State government, a government official told BusinessLine. The fifth extension given to the project lapsed last month.

The DC, however, has recommended giving a final extension to two sector-specific SEZs proposed by NMSEZ - one focussing on IT-ITES and the other on services.

Dronagiri Infrastrcuture (a company jointly owned by Mukesh Ambani and Jai Corp promoted by Anand Jain), SKIL Infrastructure and the state-owned Cidco hold equity in NMSEZ.

The proposals for extension of all three SEZ projects made by NMSEZ, together with the DC’s recommendations, will be taken up by the Board of Approval for SEZs at its meeting on August 27 and are part of the meeting agenda.

'The BoA may go by the DC's recommendation and reject the submission for extension of approval for the multi-product SEZ if the State government does not step in at the last minute and give its go-ahead,' the official said.

The developer has been sitting on the multi-product SEZ project as it does not want to invest an estimated Rs. 500 crore in infrastructure such as bridges and under-passes to ensure contiguity or continuity in the 2,140 hectares of land approved for the SEZ. The infrastructure is required to by-pass roads, rails and human settlements that fall within the zone and is compulsory under SEZ rules.

The developer had proposed that it could split the proposed zone into five SEZs to get over the contiguity problem, following which the zonal officer had asked it to get an approval from the State government. No approvals have been received from the State yet, the official said.


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