Country's largest container port JNPT today said it has auctioned six plots in its special economic zone (SEZ) to small exporters and continues to be in discussions with MNC majors like Foxconn to setup base in the ambitious project.
The six companies who have won the auctions for the plots collectively admeasuring 5 hectares will be investing Rs 2,150 crore, its chairman-in-charge Neeraj Bansal told reporters here.
When asked about the speculation of Taiwanese phone maker Foxconn also moving in, Bansal said the port continues to be in negotiations with many multinational companies to move in.
He said the total investment, employment generation and pace of setting up the facilities are the priority areas being looked-at by the Shipping ministry.
It can be noted that a host of companies, including Tesla, Apple and Foxconn were rumoured to have been approached for setting up presence in the SEZ. Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has confirmed that Tesla is not interested, while Foxconn is.
Bansal said as against a reserve price of Rs 4,800 per square metre for a 60-year lease period on upfront payment, the bids received by the port were at Rs 5,500 per square metre. The six companies, which include Devi Marine Food, Simosis International, Kader Exports, Attar Mohd Saeed Dawood and Brothers, Krish Food Industry and Oil Field Warehouse and Services, will start operations from the SEZ by mid-2019.
Bansal said the six companies will invest Rs 150 crore and create 2,150 direct jobs and added that the SEZ will create up to 30,000 jobs once complete.It can be noted that the government is targeting to create 1.25 lakh jobs from the SEZ once it is complete.
He said the port had put out a larger number of plots for bidding but did not receive more than one bid for many, which has forced it to conduct a re-bid by end of February.
When asked if the government decision to de-notify a nearby SEZ promoted by Jai Corp, Mukesh Ambani and Cidco, and turn it into a industrial-cum-residential township will have an impact on JNPT's SEZ, Bansal replied in the negative.
He said there are inherent strengths possesed by the port like close proximity shipping which will attract exporters.
JNPT is planning to add Nashik and Sangli to the list of dry ports from where goods can move directly into the port, Bansal said, adding that land under the ownership of the state government has been identified at both the new locations.
It has also been mandated by the shipping ministry to "diversify" and will be looking for port assets in the immediate vicinity and some like Vijaydurg in Konkan, to serve the needs of the planned world's largest refinery, he said.
For the benefit of the people in its immediate vicinity, the port is planning a Rs 129 crore investment along with other state-run undertakings in the locality, he said.
It will also be taking 50 per cent of the tab for building a Rs 150 crore jetty at the village Karanja, for local fisherfolk, he said, adding the rest of the contribution will come from Maharashtra government.
It is also finalising a proper policy to cater to the project affected people (PAP) which includes coming out with a list of such people who need to benefit through employment and categorise them in such a way that the most needy can be hired at the earliest.
Looking at developments including the fourth terminal, the SEZ, development of the Naina city and the new airport, JNPT is creating a skill development centre at Belapur along with Cidco under a central government scheme, he said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)