Commerce Ministry seeks stakeholders’ views on report to revive SEZs

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Published: January 22, 2019 5:23:51 PM

The commerce ministry Tuesday said it has sought stakeholders' views on a report submitted by a panel to revive special economic zones (SEZs). A committee headed by Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani on promoting SEZs submitted its recommendations in November 2018.

The commerce ministry Tuesday said it has sought stakeholders’ views on a report submitted by a panel to revive special economic zones (SEZs). A committee headed by Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani on promoting SEZs submitted its recommendations in November 2018.

The panel, which was appointed by the commerce ministry, has suggested a continuation of tax incentives and an array of other measures to revamp SEZs.

SEZs, which once contributed significantly in the country’s exports, started losing sheen after the government decided to roll back tax incentives and imposed a minimum alternate tax and dividend distribution tax. “The suggestions (of stakeholders) on the report are required to be sent latest by January 30,” the ministry said in a statement.

Other suggestions of the panel include the renaming of SEZs to employment and economic enclaves (EECs), an extension of a sunset clause, incentives linked with investments, employment, technology and value addition, simplification of processes and tax benefits to the services sector. Swift resolution of disputes through arbitration, flexibility in the dual-usage norms for non-processing areas in SEZs and extension of MSME schemes to these zones are some other recommendations of the panel.

The SEZ Act, 2005, supported by SEZ rules, came into effect on February 10, 2006. Exports from SEZs grew about 15 per cent to Rs 5.52 lakh crore in 2017-18 as compared to the previous fiscal.

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