Rushikonda IT Park Association (RITPA) has welcomed the new foreign trade policy announced on Thursday by the Ministry of Commerce.

RITPA vice-president O. Naresh Kumar said this would attract more investments in SEZs at a time when entrepreneurs who had invested heavily in SEZs were not able to do good business due to withdrawal of tax benefits and fallout of global meltdown.

He said the most welcome feature in the policy was allowing transfer of land ownership, including sale of SEZ units. At present, land is given on lease.

The policy envisages reduction in land required for SEZ by half. For multi-product SEZs, the land requirement is proposed to be reduced from 1,000 to 500 hectares and for sector-specific SEZ 100 hectare to 50 hectare.

The policy also has a proposal to consider land with pre-existing structures not in commercial use as ‘vacant land’ under the extent provision.

Mr. Naresh Kumar hailed the idea to give IT SEZ status if the minimum built-up area provision was met instead of harping on minimum area of 10 hectare. The proposals will come into effect only after amendment of relevant provisions in SEZ Rules, 2006.