Impact of Special Economic Zones on Employment, Poverty and Human Development
There are three channels through which SEZs address these issues: employment generation, skill formation (human capital development), and technology and knowledge upgradation. It examines how the impact of SEZs is passed through each of these channels. â€˜Employment generationâ€™ has been the most important channel through which SEZs lend themselves to human development concerns, in India. Employment generated by zones is remunerative. Wage rates are not lower than those prevailing outside the zones. Besides, working conditions, non monetary benefits (such as transport, health and food facilities), incentive packages and social security systems are better than those prevailing outside the zones, in particular, in the small/informal sector. The role of SEZs in human capital formation and technology upgradation is found to be rather limited. The zonesâ€™ potential could not be exploited fully in India. This could primarily be attributed to the limited success of SEZs in attracting investment and promoting exports. The new SEZ policy gives a major thrust to SEZs. However the creation of SEZs alone does not ensure the realization of their potential. The government will need to play a more proactive role for effective realization of the full range of benefits from SEZs [ICRIER WP No. 194].
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