As much as 4,480.13 hectares of land are lying vacant as against the total notified area of 4,842.38 hectares to set up these special economic zones (SEZs). Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that 362.25 hectares was being utilised to set up these 58 SEZs.

"Land for SEZs is procured as per the policy and procedures of the respective state governments. The central government does not acquire any land for SEZs," she added.

"The Board of Approval for SEZs only considers those proposals, which have been duly recommended by the state government," the Union Minister said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

In Andhra Pradesh, a maximum of 2,044.15 hectares of land are lying vacant followed by Maharashtra (536.13 hectares) and Tamil Nadu (295.51 hectares).

During April-September this fiscal, exports from these zones stood at Rs 2.21 lakh crore as against Rs 4.63 lakh crore in 2014-15.

During the first half of this fiscal, these zones have generated employment for 15.44 lakh people. Replying to a separate question on exports, the minister said that India's agricultural products exports during April-October this year was aggregated at USD 17.95 billion.

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