Published On:July 7 2020
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GIFT SEZ provides approval to 28 entities.

Around 28 entities bagged approval for setting up units in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City)'s SEZ virtually, as part of a new approval process was created for unit approval in special economic zone (SEZ) in time of Covid-19.

GIFT city, which is located between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, has been touted as the template for all the other Smart Cities announced by the government.

The Development Commissioner of GIFT SEZ along with GIFT SEZ authorities met up with all the members of unit approval committee via teleconference. All the application documents and the details were submitted online by the units, with the entire agenda prepared and circulated online to all the committee members. The expected employment generation by these entities in 2-3 years time is around 2000 jobs, a statement from GIFT SEZ confirmed.

To facilitate single window clearance, the government established the International Financial Services Centres Authority to regulate all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in Gandhinagar.

Currently, banking, capital markets and insurance sectors in IFSC are regulated by multiple regulators -- the RBI, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

The central government through a notification appointed April 27, 2020 as the date of the establishment of the International Financial Services Centres Authority and the head office of that authority should be at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

On May 8, 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman launched INR-USD Futures and Options contracts on the two International Exchanges, viz BSE’s India INX and NSE’s NSE-IFSC, at GIFT International Financial Services Centre at Gandhinagar through video conference.

Representatives of GIFT City said the new reform will enable India to become a net exporter of financial services, being in sync with the vision of GIFT City as a platform for onshoring financial services business, presently being lost to other financial centres across the world.

With the launch of INR-USD derivatives, the trades that have migrated to other international financial centres will now return, the statement said.

In the light of the pandemic, the challenge for policy planners is how to evolve a mechanism for building cities of the future and it is here that GIFT is the ideal example that can be emulated, the representative said.

"India has great growth stories but where it lacks is in world-class infrastructure. The existing cities namely Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, etc. are scrambling to achieve the scale of infrastructure required for its current population. However, after a certain limit these cities cannot develop or upgrade the required infrastructure. Therefore, the solution/answer to this problem is the development of smart cities, especially with economic activity. This will make smart cities self-sustainable as people can work and live in the city," he said.

He explained that Smart Cities use various technologies to simplify urban operations on a large scale. Technological ecosystems collect traffic noise, air quality, energy consumption and data on the movement of people. All this collectively can help the authorities make informed decisions.

Also, Smart Cities have complete data on the number of people residing and working in the city and this helps when there is a crisis as every person can be accounted for. Another key feature is that Smart Cities are self-sustainable and everything is available at close proximity. Similarly, GIFT City has a vision to provide quality of life with walk-to-work facility. This is even more important when movement is restricted due to a lack of transportation. This ensures business continuity and trade and commerce is not hampered, the representative said.

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