Centre approves SEZ status for Akhilesh’s IT city

The UP government's long wait to set up an Information Technology (IT) Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Lucknow will get over soon as the Union Ministry of Commerce has approved SEZ status for the IT city proposed to be developed on 100-acre land in Lucknow. It will be the first SEZ in the state capital.

Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani announced the decision of the central government during the Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) annual session and stakeholders' conference on 'UP rising — plethora of opportunities across sectors' organised in Lucknow on Saturday. Usmani was present at the session as a guest of honour.

Usmani said that the Centre has approved the SEZ for Lucknow IT city on Friday. He said that the SEZ status will make the project more attractive for investors and the state government will be able to attract top IT companies to take part in the bidding that will be done for selection of a developer for the project.

Officials said that the SEZ status will make the IT city project investors-friendly as the state government will now be able offer more tax incentives to the developer. Principal Secretary, IT and Electronics, Jivesh Nandan told The Indian Express that the state government had sent a proposal to the GoI on February seeking SEZ status for the IT city project. "While there are few IT SEZs in the area of National Capital Region (NCR) falling in UP like Noida, this new IT city will be first SEZ in Lucknow," Principal Secretary said.

The government has decided to give 5 per cent interest subsidy with a maximum limit of Rs 25 crore to the developer on the loan it will take for the project.

The principal secretary said that the bidding for selection of the developer would be started within four weeks. Lucknow IT city is an ambitious project of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. As per the government's conditions, the developer will have to create at least 25,000 jobs by completion of the project.

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