The exports promotion council for special economic zones (SEZ) today said the government should reconsider their demand to restore tax benefits for supporting growth of the sector and generating jobs as the budget did not bring any concrete measure. The Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs (EPCES) said the budget has “absolutely nothing” important for the SEZs despite flagging the key issues affecting the sector. The industry has asked for the removal of minimum alternate tax (MAT) and continuation of tax incentives being enjoyed by units in these zones. “The government should reconsider the restoration of the original SEZ Act as it can help the sector and generate employment,” Vinay Sharma, Officiating Chairman of EPCES said in a statement. He further said that exports from these zones in December recorded a growth of 21 per cent.
Units in SEZ enjoy 100 per cent income tax exemptions on export income for the first five years, 50 per cent for the next five years thereafter, and 50 per cent of the ploughed back export profit for another five years. SEZs, which emerged as major export hubs in the country, started losing sheen after the imposition of minimum alternate tax and introduction of sunset clause. Till December 1, 2017, the government has approved 423 SEZs, of which 222 are operational.