Govt rejects plea for extension to SEZ units for importing plastic scrap

Source: Business Standard, Dec 24, 2019

Mumbai: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has rejected a proposal to grant six-month extension to recycling units in three special economic zones (SEZs) for importing plastic scrap.

The proposal was put forth for final approval earlier this month by the Board of Approval (BoA) for SEZs under the chairmanship of Anup Wadhawan, Secretary, Department of Commerce, and with members from all leading departments involved in the monitoring of imports.

The BoA has already granted an import extension for six months from the date of the expiry of the existing import licence, i.e. November 30.

An official memorandum, dated December 18 and signed by Manoj Kumar Gangeya, director, MoEF, said, “The import of plastic waste is prohibited according to a notification issued on March 1. Therefore, the recommendation of the committee constituted by the BoA for all issues related to plastic recycling units in SEZs is not agreeable.”

In order to consider issues related to plastic recycling and used clothing units in SEZs, a committee was constituted by the BoA, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The committee had given recommendations on procedure to be followed for renewal of letters of agreement (LoAs) of these units. These units import plastic waste. The three SEZs where recycling units are allowed to import plastic scrap include Kandla Special Economic Zone (Kasez), Falta SEZ in Kolkata, and Noida Special Economic Zone (NSEZ).

“The board decided to grant an extension of validity of LoA for a period of six months beyond November 30 (i.e. to May 31, 2020) to the listed plastic recycling units in KASEZ, Falta SEZ and NSEZ. The board directed to call a meeting with the committee on the policy for plastic recycling to discuss the policy matter and while the policy provisions are deliberated, the physical exports of the units shall be assessed on annual basis,” said the minutes of the meeting of the BoA.With this, around a dozen plastic recycling units engaged in processing imported scrap in the three SEZs would have to shut their factories.

All existing notified SEZs deemed to be multi-sector SEZs: Government

Source: Business Standard, Dec 22, 2019

Chennai: The central government has notified that all notified and existing Special Economic Zones (SEZs) shall be deemed to be multi-sector economic zones. This would release land parcels in single commodity SEZs for other sectors.

The aim is to get more entities to set up manufacturing facilities in SEZs and to help developers to monetise their unutilised land, say sources. This amendment to the SEZ rules of 2006 ensures units from two or more sectors can start operations in any, including trading and warehousing.

Besides, the minimum area required for an SEZ or Free Trade Warehousing Zone (other than for information technology, IT-enabled services, biotech or health services) has been fixed as 50 hectares; in some northern and northeastern states, 25 hectares.

For IT, ITeS, biotech or health (other than hospital) services, there is no minimum area requirement for an SEZ. The requirement for minimum built-up area has been brought down from 100,000 sq metres to 50,000 sq m in Category A cities, from 50,000 sq m to 25,000 sq m in Category B and from 25,000 sq m to 15,000 sq m in Category C cities.

Senior officials from the state government here took the credit for the change to their continuous lobbying in this regard. The Tamil Nadu government has been raising the issue continuously with the Union ministry of commerce, said one.

Business representatives say in the 13 years since the rules were made, much has changed. Sector-specific SEZs did not have enough takers. Besides, technology has entered many sectors, making units sector-agnostic and breaching the standard definitions at earlier sector-specific SEZs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tripura SEZ with investment of Rs 1550 crore to create 12,000 jobs

Source: Business Standard, Dec 18, 2019

New Delhi: Tripura’s first special economic zone (SEZ) with an estimated investment of Rs 1,550 crore, which will generate 12,000 skilled jobs, will come up at Paschim Jalefa, Sabroom, the central government said on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has notified the setting up of the first-ever SEZ in the state.

The sector-specific economic zone for agro-based food processing is being set up at Paschim Jalefa, Sabroom, South Tripura District, which is 130 km away from Agartala.

“The estimated investment in the project will be around Rs 1,550 crore,” the government said.

The developer of the SEZ will be Tripura Industrial Development Corporation.

Rubber-based industries, textile and apparel sectors, bamboo and agri-food processing industries will be set up in the SEZ.

Setting up of the SEZ in Sabroom will open up new avenues to attract private investment considering the proximity of the Chittagong Port and construction of the bridge across Feni River in South Tripura that is underway, it added.

After it is set up, 100 per cent income tax exemption will be provided on export income for SEZ units for the first 5 years.Also, 50 per cent exemption will be provided for the next 5 years and 50 per cent of the ploughed-back export profit for another 5 years.

Govt amends SEZ rules to include value addition, tighter norms for renewal, work from home

Source: The Economic Times, Mar 10, 2019

NEW DELHI: The government has amended the rules governing special economic zones (SEZ) to include value addition earning norms along with the existing positive net foreign exchange earning requirement to setup a unit, and prescribed criteria while renewing its validity.

As per the updated rules, the “prescribed value addition earning requirement” will apply in the proposal to setup a unit in an SEZ, besides the positive net foreign exchange earning requirement.

The government also said that in case an application is submitted after a period of two months, “reasonableness of the delay shall be examined on the merits and circumstances of the case”. Read the rest of this entry »

RIL leased 4,000 acre land from Navi Mumbai SEZ for economic hub

Source: The Economic Times, Mar 07, 2019

Reliance Industries Thursday said it has leased 4,000 acres of land from Navi Mumbai SEZ (NMSEZ) for an initial payment of Rs 2,180 crore to develop a global economic hub. NMSEZ, as part of a tender process was allotted this land in 2006 to develop a world class SEZ.

NMSEZ, which is promoted by Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Jai Corp India, SKIL Infrastructure Ltd and City and Industrial Development Corp (CIDCO), was supposed to open to industrial units in 2019.

“RIL through a wholly owned subsidiary has entered into an MoU with NMSEZ to sub-lease land of about 4000 acres along with the associated development rights by making an initial payment of Rs 2,180 crore subject to fulfilment of certain conditions,” the company said in a regulatory filing. Read the rest of this entry »

Cabinet approves promulgation of Ordinance allowing trusts to setup units in SEZs

Source: The Economic Times, Feb 28, 2019

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the promulgation of an ordinance that will allow trusts to setup units in special economic zones (SEZ).

“This will facilitate investments in SEZs,” the government said in a statement.

The ordinance seeks to amend the definition of a person under the SEZ Act 2005 which will enable a trust to be considered for grant of permission to setup a unit in these units. The current provisions do not allow trusts to do so.

“The amendment would also provide flexibility to the central government to include ‘trusts’ in the definition of a ‘person’, any entity that the central government may notify from time to time,” the government said.

Exports from SEZs grew about 15% to Rs 5.52 lakh crore in 2017-18 as compared to the previous fiscal.

JNPT SEZ to bid out 300 acres to manufacturing companies

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Feb 24, 2019

Mumbai: The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) inside the JNPT port is planning to bid out a fresh land parcels measuring 300 acres exclusively for manufacturing companies. The bid process is likely to be completed by March, a senior JNPT official said.

World’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan, has shown interest in bidding for the land. Read the rest of this entry »