Green SEZ’s Guidelines – Postponed as of now

Posted on July 16, 2011 by


As per the news on Livemint.com;

“The commerce ministry’s plan for “green” special economic zones (SEZs) has been shelved. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior commerce ministry official said that the decision was taken so as not to add to the financial burden of SEZs, which are already struggling after the government decided to impose additional taxes and phase out some incentives”.

Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is an exclusively designed region by the respective national Government to promote businesses by flexible economic and other laws that are more free-market-oriented. Some examples are- Free Trade Zones (FTZ), Export Processing Zones (EPZ), Free Zones (FZ), Industrial parks or Industrial Estates (IE), Free Ports, Urban Enterprise Zones, etc. SEZ attracts foreign direct investment in the form of international business or a multinational corporation (MNC) that create increasing opportunities for the businesses.

Aiming energy efficiency and improving environment management measures to secure sustainable growth of the country, Government of India launched various green mechanisms. In the queue of already launched National Solar mission under National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC), National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency (The Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change approved draft principles of the NMEEE on August 2009), the draft guidelines for promoting green Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have been issued on Dec 2009.

The draft ‘green policies’ for SEZ are designed to make industrial and non-industrial special economic zones (SEZs) more energy efficient.  Guidelines have been prepared in consultation with the CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Indian Green Building Council and Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

It include;  

  • Energy efficiency: All new buildings (Excluding process loads for industrial buildings), would have to be energy efficient as per the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), 50% of the net roof area of the buildings should covered with vegetated roof or high Solar Reflective Index (SRI) material for improving micro climate and to avoid heat island effect, Use of solar water heating systems (50 % of all hot water requirement should be met through solar), Use of ventilation & day lighting standards prescribed in National Building Code (NBC).
  • Power: Waste to energy generation, Use of Solar power (At least 25% of the installed external lighting load should be solar power), Use of BEE star labelled products, Prohibition of incandescent lamps, A minimum of 2% of total estimated energy consumption for each zone or 5 kW/ hectare, whichever is lower, must be generated through solar or other forms of renewable energy.
  • Water Consumption: Water harvesting practices shall be used in each Zone, Protection and restoration of the existing water bodies to promote biodiversity, Installation of centralized in-situ waste water treatment plant to treat 100% of waste water (Zero discharge policy), Re-using treated waste water, etc
  • Waste Management: To make available common storage area for recyclable waste such as paper, glass, metal, cardboard, plastics & organic, Garbage segregation as per Solid Waste Rules of 2000
  • Plantation: Setting up own nurseries for plantation of saplings, plantation as per the norms fixed by the Approval Committee.
  • Site preservation and Restoration: Prevention of ‘construction activity pollution’ by controlling soil erosion and waterway sedimentation as per National Building Code (NBC) guidelines, Preservation/transplantation of existing trees, Landscaping of roads/ pathways, etc
  • Local Internal Transportation: Use of electric and CNG, Bio-diesel or any other environment friendly fuel driven vehicles, Electric Rickshaw for internal transportation, local mass transportation (rail and/ or bus)
  • Materials: Procurement of green/eco-friendly building materials for construction
  • IT Infrastructure: Use of Optical Fibre Connectivity (OFC) to provide efficient internet and broad band connectivity to the units

Presently, 584 formal approvals have been granted for setting up SEZs, out of which 381 have been notified. According to the commerce ministry, as on 31 March, more than Rs. 2.2 trillion has been invested in SEZs and direct employment to 676,608 persons has been generated. During fiscal 2010-11, exports from SEZs aggregated Rs. 3.15 trillion, registering a growth of about 43.11% over the exports for the year 2009-10. (Livemint.com)

Seven major Special Economic Zones in India;

  • SEEPZ Special Economic Zone
  • Kandla Special Economic Zone
  • Cochin Special Economic Zone
  • Madras Special Economic Zone
  • Visakhapatnam SEZ
  • Falta Special Economic Zone
  • Noida Export Processing Zone

(List of operational SEZ in India can be accessed from here, and List of SEZs established/notified prior to SEZ Act, 2005 can be accessed from here )

The draft guidelines show considerable suggestions to bring up the green status of SEZ; but due to unexpected delay in implementation may stagnant its growth.

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