Govt to revamp SEZ incentives policy, focus on employment over exports

Source: Business Standard, Dec 03, 2018

Mumbai: The Union commerce and finance ministries are considering revamping Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

The idea is to focus on service sector export and incentivise manufacturing, with stress being shifted from export to employment. A report on this was given early last week by a committee headed by Baba Kalyani, chairman of Bharat Forge.

Its major recommendations include temoval of sunset clauses for services SEZs (including international financial centres) and for job-based incentives to address issues that might not stand with Wolrd Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

A government official said: “The suggestions are very constructive and the commerce ministry will immediately begin formal consultations with the finance and other ministries, so that implementation of the committee’s recommendations could be done without delay.” Read the rest of this entry »

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SEZ rules eased for merger of units, minimum area requirement

Source: The Economic Times, Oct 02, 2018

New Delhi: The government has amended the rules governing special economic zones (SEZ) to align them with the goods and services tax (GST).

The new rules permit merger of units in the same zone and do away with the minimum area requirement to set up biotechnology and health SEZs.

SEZ units can now export prohibited goods as long as the goods used for manufacture are imported.

The new rules have also simplified the procedure for claiming drawbacks. Instead of the earlier requirement of submitting the ARE-1 or application for removal of excisable goods for export by air, sea, post, land form to claim refund, exporters now need to submit only the bill of export. Read the rest of this entry »

13 SEZ developers, units seek more time to implement projects

download (1).jpgSource: The Economic Times, Sept 10, 2018

As many as 13 SEZ developers and units including G P Realtors, JBF Petrochemicals and Aurobindo Pharma have sought more time from the commerce ministry to implement their projects.

Decision on these proposals would be taken by the Board of Approval (BoA) for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in its meeting on September 12. BoA is headed by the commerce secretary. G P Realtors has sought more time for its electronic hardware and IT/ITES SEZ at Gurugram.

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Companies deserting SEZs over compliance hurdles: CBRE

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 05, 2018

Mumbai: Special Economic Zones, or SEZs, are losing their mojo as companies are heading elsewhere due to the “cumbersome documentation” and compliance requirements. Some players in SEZ locations have also raised doubts over the confidentiality of information being shared with authorities regarding their operations, vendors, sources of raw materials and human resource details, says a new report by research firm CBRE.

“These cumbersome documentations include separating domestic and NFE (net foreign exchange) operations, along with the process to be adhered to while migration of employees from existing non-SEZ operations to new SEZ units,” said the CBRE report on SEZs.

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Government gives more time to 15 SEZ developers, units to complete projects

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 16, 2018

The government has granted more time to as many as 15 special economic zone developers and units, including HBS Pharma, Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu and DLF Info Park, to execute their projects.

The decision was taken by the Board of Approval, chaired by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, at its meeting on June 19.

The board is the highest decision making body related to special economic zones (SEZs).

HBS Pharma SEZ got one more year till June 2019 to complete its project in Gujarat. DLF Info Park too got additional time till June next year for its IT/ITeS project in Maharashtra. Read the rest of this entry »

Exports from SEZs up 38 per cent in May at Rs 29,000 crore

Source: The Economic Times, Jun 21, 2018

Exports from special economic zones (SEZs) grew by 38 per cent in May to Rs 29,236 crore, according to data by EPCES.

Export Promotion Council for EoUs and SEZs (EPCES) said the major sectors contributing to the growth include biotech, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, computers, electronics, non-conventional energy, plastic, rubber, trading and services.

Further, during April-May this fiscal, exports from these zones rose by 11 per cent to Rs 1.01 lakh crore.

Vinay Sharma, officiating chairman of EPCES, said: “The healthy pace of growth in exports from SEZs once again reflects the increasing economical impact of these zones and its contribution to the country’s export earnings.”

The major export destinations are the UAE, US and Saudi Arabia.

However, regions like Hong Kong, Africa, Kenya and Oman have seen negative trends, it added.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.

 

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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