Government sets up group to study special economic zones policy

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New Delhi | Published: June 6, 2018 3:41:19 PM

The government has constituted a group, headed by Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani, to study the special economic zones (SEZ) policy of India, the commerce ministry today said.

special economic zones policy, SEZ policy, Bharat Forge, SEZ rules, Exports from special economic zonesThe US has alleged that India appears to be providing subsidies through various export promotion programmes, special economic zones and duty-free imports for the exporters’ programme. (Reuters)

The government has constituted a group, headed by Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani, to study the special economic zones (SEZ) policy of India, the commerce ministry today said. “The group will evaluate the SEZ policy, suggest measures to cater to the needs of exporters in the present economic scenario and make the policy WTO (World Trade Organisation) compatible, suggest course correction in policy, make comparative analysis of the SEZ scheme and dovetail the policy with other similar schemes,” it said in a statement. It would submit its recommendation in three month. The SEZ Act, 2005, supported by SEZ rules, came into effect on February 10, 2006.

The members of the group include Sricity SEZ MD Ravindra Sannareddy, Group President of K Raheja Group Neel Raheja, Tata Steel SEZ MD Arun Misra, Mahindra Life Space Developer MD Anita Arjundas and Principal Secretaries (Industries) of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The move assumes significance as the US has approached the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism against India’s export support schemes including SEZ.

The US has alleged that India appears to be providing subsidies through various export promotion programmes, special economic zones and duty-free imports for the exporters’ programme. America has alleged that these incentives were harming their companies. SEZs have emerged as major export hubs in the country as the government provides several incentives including tax benefits and single window clearance system.

The developers and units of these zones enjoy certain fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as no licence requirement for import; full freedom for subcontracting; and no routine examination by customs authorities of export/import cargo. They also enjoy direct and indirect tax benefits. Exports from special economic zones grew by about 15 per cent to Rs 5.52 lakh crore in 2017-18.

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