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Though the power development in the State has been based mainly on the exploitation of the abundant hydro-potential, the State is on its way to achieving self-sufficiency with its recent efforts to exploit thermal power to its full potential. A major policy initiative of the State government in recent years has been to involve private sector participation in augmenting power supply. Moreover, the State government is giving a new thrust to develop hydropower from such small and medium projects that will have very little adverse impact on the environment. Some of the new important thermal projects include the Brahmapuram Diesel Power Project, the Kozhikode Diesel Power Project at Nallalam, and the third unit of the combined cycle power project of NTPC at Kayamkulam, whose output is available exclusively to Kerala.
Apart from the four thermal units, there are 17 hydel units and one wind power unit in the State. All these units put together puts the State capacity at around 2311MW. While the majority of the hydel units have a capacity in the in the 10 to75 MW range, the biggest unit, located at Idukki, can produce 780 MW of power. Sabarigiri with 300 MW and Lower Periyar with 180 MW follow this. The Peppara and Madupetti units have the lowest output with only three and two MW respectively. The wind power unit at Kanjikode also has a low output of only two MW.
Highest telephone density in country.- 35 connections per sq. km
All 913 exchanges connected to STD/ISD network.
98 % - electronic
Max. Number of exchanges for Ernakulam and min for Wayanad
Panchayats being linked by a network of computers and provided Internet facilities
Five private Internet Service Providers in the State.
8300 km of optical fiber activated in international undersea cable landing points at Cochin.
Around 5,056 post offices.
One post office for average of 6480 persons in around 8 km.
Postal Circle includes 51 Head Post Offices, more than 4000 sub-offices, 90 Other Postal Service Offices and 7 Speed Post Centres.
Financial Institutions
The various public and private sector financial institutions in the State perform the important task of providing adequate monetary back up to the risk-taking entrepreneur. Of these, two of the most important institutions are the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, the nodal agency for promoting and financing large and medium scale industries, and the Kerala Financial Corporation for the small and medium scale units
Two international airport (Thiruvananthapuram) and Cochin Airport and domestic Kozhikode).
Total railway route length for 1998-'99 -- nearly 1200 km.
New Konkan railway facilitates access to trade circuits of Bombay and Pune.
Total road length of nearly 1,10,500 km.
Ernakulam has maximum road length followed by Kottayam and Alleppey / Alappuzha
An international sea- port at Cochin - one of 16 major ports in country.
Three intermediate ports (Neendakara, Alappuzha, Kozhikode), 12 minor ports.
Cochin Special Economic Zone
The Special Economic Zone is an enclave, a foreign territory outside the Customs territory of India, with special rules for facilitating foreign direct investment for export-oriented production.
Zone units can import duty-free all their requirements for export production. No other import licenses are required. Even second-hand equipment can be imported. Capital goods can also be sourced from Indian/foreign leasing firms. Up to 5 years is available for using imported items.
Units can be set up in CSEZ for any type of activity: manufacture of goods, rendering of services, production, processing, assembling, trading, repair, remaking, reconditioning, or re-engineering.
SEZ units can run in any line of activity. The only exceptions are arms and ammunition, atomic substances, psychotropic substances, and tobacco products.
The key implication of being deemed foreign territory is that units are allowed considerable operational freedom in routine operations. Activity is not Customs-supervised. There is no Customs examination of import and export consignments. Units are allowed to use their own seals. Consignments are allowed through on an examination of the outer seals and marks and numbers. Operations are on the basis of self-declaration and self-certification by the units.
The Zone is run directly by the Government of India. The Letter of Permission to run a unit in the CSEZ can therefore be granted locally at Cochin by the Development Commissioner. Even 100% FDI owned units can be so approved. A number of approvals for SEZ units are under the Automatic route, where the unit first completes the transaction and then informs the Cochin office of the central banking authority, the Reserve Bank of India. The CSEZ also offers onsite Customs clearances. A Customs detachment is stationed permanently at the Zone for helping units with clearances.
All types and lines of activity undertaken by a unit in the Zone can be combined in the approval (LOP) for the unit and Performance monitoring will be for the LOP as a whole. SEZ units are obligated to achieve only positive NFE cumulatively over five years from commercial production. Positive Net Foreign exchange Earning (NFE) implies that FE Inflows through Exports earnings (Direct Exports + Third party Exports + Deemed Exports) should exceed FE Outflows by way of Import outgo on Raw materials /consumables + FE payments of commission/royalty/fees/ dividends/foreign travel + interest on ECB + amortized value of imported capital goods, by at least $1.
The SEZ regime facilitates risk-free ECB funding in that export proceeds need to be brought in within 12 months of export only. And even then, 100% of export proceeds can be retained in foreign currency (in EEFC account). This makes foreign currency financing exchange-risk free. Foreign currency borrowing lowers cost of funds.
SEZ units are allowed to subcontract/out-source part of their production or part of their production process. Units can subcontract to units abroad, in the SEZ or in the Indian Domestic Tariff Area. SEZ units can undertake job-work for export on behalf of Indian Domestic Tariff Area units. Units can also import raw materials & components free of cost for job working and return. And within CSEZ, free inter-unit transfer of goods is permitted.
CSEZ units are allowed to procure their requirements from the Indian Domestic Tariff Area free of all duties and taxes. Supplies to SEZ units are deemed exports, and suppliers are eligible for Advance License for import of intermediate inputs, exemption from payment of Central Excise Duty, or alternatively for refund of Terminal Excise Duty, for reimbursement of Central Sales Tax, and for Deemed Export Drawback. SEZ units can avail the Deemed Export Drawback and Refund of Terminal Excise Duty on getting disclaimer from the Indian Domestic Tariff Area supplier.
CSEZ units can sell their product to the Indian Market on payment of full duties, subject to NFE being positive.
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