Commerce ministry sets up panel to make SEZ policy compatible with WTO rules

download (6)Source: LiveMint.com, Jun 07, 2018

New Delhi: The commerce ministry has set up a committee headed by Bharat Forge chairman Baba Kalyani to make its special economic zone (SEZ) policy compatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules after the US challenged India’s export subsidy programme at the multilateral trade body.

“The group will evaluate the SEZ policy, suggest measures to cater to the needs of exporters in the present economic scenario and make the SEZ policy WTO compatible, suggest course correction in SEZ policy, make comparative analysis of the SEZ scheme and dovetail the SEZ policy with other similar schemes. The Group is required to submit its recommendation in 3 months’ time,” commerce ministry said in a statement.

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To boost Make in India, framework for SEZs set for a complete makeover

index.jpgSource: The Economic Times, Dec 11, 2017

India is eyeing a revamp of its framework for special economic zones (SEZs) to boost manufacturing, including the exemption of factories located in them from minimum alternate tax (MAT), seen as a key factor that has stunted the zones.

Other ideas include slashing the category of deemed exports besides reducing minimum area requirement for smaller and special category states. The proposals are likely to be considered during budget talks, but a final call will be taken keeping in view revenue considerations and government’s intent to cut corporate exemptions.

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Developers, global funds renew interest in SEZs

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Sept 07, 2017

Mumbai: Smart City initiative and GST roll-out seem to augur well for both IT and commercial Special Economic Zones (SEZs) with institutional funds and domestic real estate developers pitching in to develop the category.

The investments in SEZ as a category are picking up nearly after five years. Several companies including Reliance, Unitech and DLF Ltd had in the past denotified SEZ land and monetised the land parcel.

Between 2008 and 2011, at least 33 SEZs were denotified, according to Government data.Global fund house Xander recently acquired an IT SEZ in Perungalathur, Chennai, from Shriram Properties for $350 million (₹2,300 crore).

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50 SEZs set up in last 3 years

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 02, 2017

New Delhi: As many as 50 new special economic zones (SEZs) have been set up in the country during the last three years, Parliament was informed today.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply to Rajya Sabha also said that in 2016-17, exports from overall SEZs increased by 12 per cent year-on-year to ₹5.23 lakh crore.

In a separate reply, she said 36 alerts were received for export of fresh fruits and vegetables to European Union and 41 shipments to the US were issued import refusal during 2014-16. She said it was not feasible for the government to ascertain the exact volume of export opportunities lost due to non-trade barriers.

SEZs keen on FTA rates, commerce ministry working on proposal

Source: The Economic Times, June 25, 2017

NEW DELHI: The commerce ministry is working on a proposal to allow special economic zone (SEZ) units to sell products outside these tax-free enclaves at concessional duty rates. An SEZ area is considered to be a foreign territory for trade operations and duties and are mainly set up for the export purpose.

However, goods can be supplied from an SEZ unit to a DTA (domestic tariff area or outside SEZ) buyer on payment of appropriate Customs duty as products coming from these zones are treated as imports into the country. The SEZ players have demanded that they be allowed to sell their goods in DTA on same terms as applicable under free trade agreements (FTAs) signed by India with different countries.
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SEZs not likely to be allowed to sell locally at concessional import duty

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Dec 07, 2016

New Delhi: Units in special economic zones (SEZs) looking for import duty exemption in the forthcoming aBudget for selling their products in the domestic market may be in for disappointment.

The Commerce Ministry, which had proposed that SEZs be allowed to sell their items locally by paying concessional import duties which is hitherto allowed to India’s free trade partner countries, has almost given up its claim as the Finance Ministry has ruled that it could lead to heavy revenue leakages, an official said.

“We do not expect duty exemption for domestic sale of SEZ goods to be announced in the Budget as the Finance Ministry is not in favour of it,” he added.

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Government approves 6 new SEZs for IT, biotech

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 29, 2016

NEW DELHI: The government has approved six proposals from four developers to set up new special economic zones (SEZs) across three states in areas such as IT and biotechnology.

The decision was taken by the Board of Approval (BoA), headed by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, at its November 9 meeting, an official said.

The developers who got nod for new zones include Vaxenic India, EON Kharadi Infrastructure and KRC Infrastructure.

GAR Corporation has proposed to set up two IT/ITeS zones in Telangana, while Vaxenic India wants to set up biotechnology and bio pharmaceuticals SEZ in the state.

EON Kharadi Infrastructure and KRC Infrastructure too have planned to set up separate IT/ITeS special economic zones in Pune. Information Technology Park has got the approval to set up IT zone in Karnataka.

The board has also given additional time to six developers and units to implement their projects.

G P Realtors had sought further extension of the validity period of formal approval granted for setting up electronic hardware and IT/ITeS zone in Haryana.

“The board, after deliberations, extended the validity up to November 13, 2017,” the official added.

SEZs are export hubs, which contribute about 23 per cent in the country’s total outbound shipments.

Exports from special economic zones logged a marginal growth of 0.77 per cent to Rs 4.67 lakh crore in 2015-16.

The exports from such 204 zones were Rs 4.63 lakh crore in 2014-15.

As per the Commerce Ministry’s data, as on March 31, these zones had attracted investments worth Rs 3.76 lakh crore and generated employment for 15.91 lakh people.