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SEEPZ
SEEPZ
Location of SEEPZ
in Mumbai and India
Coordinates 19°07′23″N 72°52′34″E / 19.123°N 72.876°E / 19.123; 72.876
Country  India
State Maharashtra
District(s) Mumbai Suburban
Civic agency MCGM
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area
Elevation

31 m (102 ft)

Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) is a Special Economic Zone in Mumbai, India. Situated in the Andheri East area, it is subjected to liberal economic laws as compared to the rest of India to promote rapid economic growth using tax and business incentives and attract foreign investment and technology[1]. Seepz was created in 1973 and was seen as export processing zone[2]. Since then many other SEZ’s have been created in rest of India. SEEPZ mainly houses Software Companies and jewellery exporters of India. More than 40 percent of India’s total jewelry exports ($2,222.31 million) out of $5,210.69 million during year 2006-2007 came from units within SEEPZ[3]. Despite its name, it is not located near the suburb of Santacruz, rather it is located closer to Andheri that lies further north.

The dilapidated church inside SEEPZ

Contents

Profile

More than 150 units operate in SEEPZ. Prominent companies that have offices within Seepz include: Renaissance Jewellery Ltd, Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Vaibhav Gems Ltd, D’damas for Jewelry. IT Companies include Blue Star Infotech Ltd, Thirdware, Patni Computer Systems, Polaris Software Lab Limited, Tata Consultancy Services, Geodesic Limited, Trigyn Technologies Limited, Syntel Limited etc.., Buildings in SEEPZ are called Standard Design Factories(SDF)[1]. The SEZ is a high security entry zone. Employees of various companies need to have permanent SEEPZ gate pass to gain entry. Visitors need special permits to enter[4]. Due to these hassles government proposed making SEEPZ a Free Trade Zone(FTZ) in 1999. However, gate pass and visitor pass rules continue till date. Making SEEPZ a FTZ meant that it would be treated as outside the customs zone of India. This meant no excise or customs duty will be levied on raw material but companies would also not be able to sell their products in domestic market[5].There are also Hotels like Indian Coffee House which is quite popular.

Crimes

Due to its business importance and high concentration of work force SEEPZ has remained the prime target of criminals and terrorists. A high profile case occurred in 1999 when diamonds worth Rs. 10 crore (US$ 2.06 million) and gold worth Rs. 39 lakh (US$ 80,300) were smuggled out and sold in local market [6]. After the 28 July 2003 Mumbai Bus Bombing major stockpile of explosives was also found near SEEPZ[7]. Women employees working in SEEPZ during the night shifts are entitled to to-and-fro transport facility from home to office from their employers[8].

Notable facts

Within the premises is located the ruins of an abandoned Portuguese church, St. John the Baptist Church, Mumbai built in 1579[9]. The church also laid in ruins for years and access to it restricted since the SEEPZ was formed. After much political controversy, it was handed back to Fr Rodney Esperance of Bombay Archdiocese in 2003[10] in ceremony organized by Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde[11]. A lake and several canteens are located inside the SEEPZ premises.

External links

References

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