Comm Min panel on SEZs proposes continuation of incentives

      10/09/2018

A commerce ministry appointed committee on promoting special economic zones has suggested continuation of tax incentives, and host of other steps to revive SEZs, an official said.

With a view to focus on job creation and attract more investments, the committee has proposed migration of special economic zones (SEZs) to employment and economic enclaves (EEEs), and creation of link infrastructure and maintenance for enclaves.

According to the draft recommendations of the committee, incentives should be linked with employment, investment, technology/innovation, and infrastructure status for these zones to improve access to financing, the official said.

It has also proposed seamless transition of SEZs to EEEs by putting status quo on duty or tax benefits already availed by units, and relook at various laws, including foreign trade policy and Goods and Services tax, for realignment to adopt the proposed EEE.

The other recommendations include changes in the SEZ Act, and compensation for logistics services cost, labour transport cost, labour training costs, advertising and marketing costs.

In June, the ministry constituted the group to evaluate the SEZ policy, suggest measures to cater to the needs of exporters in the present economic scenario, make the policy WTO compatible, suggest course correction, make comparative analysis of the SEZ scheme and dovetail the policy with other similar schemes.

It is headed by Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani.

The SEZ Act, 2005, supported by SEZ rules, came into effect on February 10, 2006.

Exports from special economic zones grew by about 15 per cent to Rs 5.52 lakh crore in 2017-18.