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Published by Mohan Raj

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Published by: Mohan Raj on Jan 20, 2011
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SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES AN INDIAN PERSPECTIVEINTRODUCTIONJute IndustryJute is otherwise known as the 'Golden Fiber' -a plant that produces a fiber, mainly used for sacking andcordage. This raw material is used for sacks, globally and is the most versatile fibers of nature. Differentforms of handicrafts also use this fiber. Jute is cheap and important among all textile fibers, after cotton.Potential of Jute industryThe jute industry has been expanding really fast spanning from a wide range of life style consumerproducts, with all courtesy to the versatility of Jute. Innovative ways of bleaching, dyeing and finishingprocesses - the jute industry now provides finished jute products that are softer, have a luster and alsoan aesthetic appeal.Changing scenario of Jute industryAt present, jute has been defined as an eco-friendly natural fiber with utmost versatility ranging fromlow value geo-textiles to high value carpet, apparel, composites, decoratives, upholstery furnishings etc.In future, a number of jute mills and mini-jute plants have been seen to be engaged in jute products and jute blended yarns. We all know that the uses of jute are manifold, with the traditional usage patternremaining constricted to packing, hessian and carpet backing.The jute sector in India engages a key role in the Indian economy, providing direct employment to about0.26 million workers, and supporting the lives of around 4.0 million farm families. Around 0.14 millionpeople are believed to be engaged in the tertiary sector, that supports the jute industry. Currently it alsocontributes to exports to the tune of about Rs. 1000 crore.Jute Production in IndiaImport of Raw Jute in 2008-09 has dropped by 66% in quantity and by 55% in value terms, whereasimport of jute products saw a surge by 23% in quantity and by 47% in value terms when compared withthe figures of 2007-08. The EXIM Policy states that import of raw jute and jute products in India shouldbe considered as free items without duty.
Import of jute and jute products in last 3 yearsQty: M.Ton and Value: Rs. /LakhsPeriod 2008 - 2009 2007 - 2008 2006 - 2007Qty. Value Qty. Value Qty. ValueRaw Jute 59,042 8,900.31 1,71,800 19,672.39 94,363 15,031.15Jute Products 70,935 20,299.48 57,688 13,809.41 60,932 17,162.87State-wise Jute production in the last 3 yearsPeriod: July-June / Area: '000 Hectares / Qty: '000 Bales2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 (Estimated)State Area Production Area Production Area ProductionWest Bengal 595 8411 610 8216 584 7900Bihar 127 1253 131 1251 147 1402Jharkhand - - - - - -Assam 58 559 60 657 61 674Orissa 5 48 6 50 11 104Uttar Pradesh - - - - (0.1) 1Tripura 1 4 (0.5) 4 1 8Meghalaya 4 35 4 35 6 50Nagaland 2 6 3 6 2 21Others - - - - - -Total 792 10316 814 10219 812 10160
 as SEZ) is a geographical region that has economic laws that are more liberal than a country's typicaleconomic laws. An SEZ is a trade capacity development tool, with the goal to promote rapid economicgrowth by using tax and business incentives to attract foreign investment and technology. Today, thereare approximately 3,000 SEZs operating in 120 countries, which account for over US$ 600 billion inexports and about 50 million jobs. By offering privileged terms, SEZs attract investment and foreignexchange, spur employment and boost the development of improved technologies and infrastructure.There are 13 functional SEZs and about 61 SEZs, which have been approved and are under the process of establishment in India.Most developing countries in the world have recognized the importance of facilitating internationaltrade for the sustained growth of the economy and increased contribution to the GDP of the nation. Aspart of its continuing commitment to liberalization, the Government of India has also, since the lastdecade, adopted a multi-pronged approach to promote foreign investment in India. The Government of India has pushed ahead with second-generation reforms and has made several policy changes to achievethis objective.The SEZ policy was first introduced in India in April 2000, as a part of the Export-Import (EXIM) policyof India. Considering the need to enhance foreign investment and promote exports from the countryand realizing the need that level playing field must be made available to the domestic enterprises andmanufacturers to be competitive globally, the Government of India in April 2000 announced theintroduction of Special Economic Zones policy in the country deemed to be foreign territory for thepurposes of trade operations, duties and tariffs. To provide an internationally competitive and hasslefree environment for exports, units were allowed be set up in SEZ for manufacture of goods andrendering of services. All the import/export operations of the SEZ units is on self-certification basis. Theunits in the Zone are required to be a net foreign exchange earner but they wouldl not be subjected to

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