Mumbai: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has received government approval for its proposed sector-specific special economic zone (SEZ) for biotechnology, to be set up at Ghodbunder Road, Thane, a suburb of Mumbai. The project will involve an investment of Rs150 crore (Rs1,500 million) and is expected to generate direct employment for more than 2,000 people.
To be located on a 72-acre plot owned by the M&M group, the SEZ will be developed by Mahindra Gesco Developers Ltd (MGDL), a subsidiary of the company.
The SEZ will have world class facilities on a par with those available at Mahindra World City SEZ in Chennai, the company said in a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
"Biotechnology firms are looking for world class facilities to support their global expansion. The Mahindra group, with its first mover advantage in the SEZ sector, is uniquely positioned to offer the biotech industry world class and state-of-the-art facilities. This SEZ is a perfect fit in our strategy to create a "plug-in and play" environment for global giants. It will have the dual advantage of the Mahindra World City promise of world class infrastructure and its proximity to the commercial hub of Mumbai," Arun Nanda, executive director and president infrastructure development sector of the company, said,
The SEZ will offer all the benefits of convenience, high productivity and lower costs, living community in close proximity, while providing a truly international and soothing environment.
The SEZ is expected to attract investments from global biotechnology majors. It will offer specialist business zones with customised infrastructure to give companies a competitive edge.
Analysts anticipate huge demand for IT SEZs, as existing tax exemptions for software technology parks in non-SEZ areas will expire in ''09.
In recent times, the SEZ fever has caught several corporate houses, as companies located in the SEZ get complete income-tax exemption for the initial five years and partial exemption for the next 10 years.
Major corporate houses to receive approvals for SEZs include the Adani group, Mahindra & Mahindra, Wipro, Ranbaxy and Biocon.
As the government policy does not allow shifting of existing businesses to SEZs, capacity expansion of a lot of companies, especially manufacturing, will likely shift to SEZs closest to their existing units. SEZs are advantageous for mainly smaller companies, which do not have captive infrastructure facilities.