The Madras Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) special economic zone, one of the seven export processing zones set up by the Centre, has decided not to encourage anymore IT companies in the zone. The decision comes against the backdrop of growing presence of IT companies in the zone that was meant to promote manufacturing firms. The zone administration said it would soon come out with a new ‘incubation scheme’ to encourage start-up manufacturing companies to set up facilities in the zone.
MEPZ currently houses IT companies like Cognizant Technology Solutions, Computer Sciences Corporation, CSS, and HTC Global Services among several software firms occupying the space inside the zone, according to MEPZ’s website.
Ajay Mittal, development commissioner, MEPZ, said, “We have taken a decision not to encourage any more IT investments into the zone to protect the manufacturing companies, especially small units.”
He said low land prices were attracting IT investments into the private SEZs coming up around the city, adding the SEZ would soon come out with a new ‘incubation scheme’ to support small start-up companies. “We will have exclusive space available for units, which want to set up their shops in 2,000-2,500 sft.” The proposed scheme will be the first-of-its-kind in the country to be provided in the SEZs promoted by the government, according to Mittal.
Located at Tambaram, Chennai, MEPZ was established in 1984 with the objective of promoting foreign direct investment, enhancing foreign exchange earnings, and creating greater employment opportunities. The zone was converted into an SEZ on January 1, 2003.