As many as 36 special economic zones (SEZs) are operational in Tamil Nadu, followed by Telangana and Karnataka, Parliament was informed today.
In Telangana and Karnataka, 26 SEZs in each state are operational.
"Presently, a total of 204 SEZs are exporting. As on June 30, a total of 15,04,597 persons have been provided employments in SEZs," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Further, she said as many as 225 non-operational zones are there in different states of the country.
The government has approved 19 proposals for setting up of new zones in 10 states, including Andhra Pradesh (1), Maharashtra (4) and Uttar Pradesh (2) during the last three years and current fiscal till November 30.
SEZs are major export hubs of the country. It contributes about 25 per cent in the country's total exports.
In a separate reply, she said the incentives announced by the government recently would enhance competitiveness of exporters in the global market and "may help in boosting the exports. This in turn, will help in bridging the trade gaps".
Trade deficit during April-October 2015 declined by 9.87 per cent to USD 77.7 billion as against USD 86.27 billion in the same period last year.
The cumulative exports during April-October this fiscal came down by 17.62 per cent to USD 154.29 billion as against USD 187.2 billion in the same period last year.