Make SEEPZ a world-class facility, says Piyush Goyal

With an export potential of $30 billion, the Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) needs a complete overhaul to make it a world-class facility, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal said here on Thursday.

SEEPZ was started in 1973 near the Mumbai international airport here to promote electronics manufacturing in the country.

Goyal urged the need for a ‘transformational change’ rather than mere incremental change, to bring back vibrancy into SEEPZ like before.

“With everyone’s cooperation, SEEPZ can be made modern and world class. We can think of a public private partnership scheme whereby industry units which revamp their properties can be given exemption from rent revision for 10 years,” Goyal said after visiting the setup on Thursday.

He called upon the exporters to collectively decide about making the Common Services Centre operational and revamp SEEPZ with over 400 units into a swank and new state-of-the-art hub for serving international customers.

Additionally, the India Trade Promotion Organisation could have an exhibition complex here to facilitate buyer-seller events.

The Centre has announced Rs 200 crore aid for expansion and refurbishing of one of the country’s oldest export processing zones, he said.

He cited the example of the Surat Diamond Bourse, and said the SEEPZ could seek its help for the refurbishment work, as he pointed out the Rs 4,000 crore makeover of Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

SEEPZ, a high security and restricted zone, has mostly electronic hardware manufacturing companies, software, besides gold and diamond jewellery units which account for over one-third of India’s total jewelery exports.