Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Extra Special Economic Zones

When it comes to productivity and export-competitiveness of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), clearly some states in India fare a lot better than the others.

How much better? If today's official press release (PIB) is to believed, more than 10 times!

18 SEZs in Gujarat exported, on an average, Rs. 12,500 Crores (US$ 2 billion) worth of goods & services. Its employees were by far much more productive too, with each employee sending out stuff worth nearly Rs. 3 Crores.

There are states with more than twice the number of export-zones with a fraction of Gujarat's productivity. Andhra Pradesh (pre-division) has 42; Tamil Nadu has 34 SEZs while Maharashtra and Karnataka have 25 each. Yet, for the latter three states average exports-per-SEZ hovers in the range of just Rs. 2000 crores.

What accounts for this huge difference? Is it that industries like diamond-polishing have export margins much more than any other goods or services?


* "Functioning of SEZs" (6 Aug 2014) - PIB Press Release from Ministry of Commerce & Industry - Response to Rajya Sabha unstarred question No. 2919 - URL -

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