Tuesday, 19 May 2015

SEZ: Commerce Ministry to take up denotification, extension proposals tomorrow

The Commerce Ministry will tomorrow take up 22 proposals of SEZ developers that have approached it to surrender their tax free zones.

The 22 developers include Tamilnadu Industrial Development Corporation and Sunwise Properties.

The Board of Approval (BoA) chaired by Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher would take a decision on these applications in its meeting tomorrow.

Besides, the board would also take decision on the applications of 27 special economic zone developers that have sought more time to execute their projects.

Those who had asked for more time include Gulf Oil Corporation Ltd, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd, Kandla Port Trust and Indiabulls Industrial Infrastructure.

About the developers wanting to surrender their projects, the BoA meeting's agenda note said: "In these cases, a formal approval has been granted by the DoC (Department of Commerce). However, since there is no significant progress made by the Developer/co-developer, the concerned DC (development commissioner) has proposed for cancellation of formal approval granted to the developer".

In February, the government had cancelled 56 tax free enclaves.

The BoA would also consider the proposal of Infosys Ltd to set up a new IT/ITeS zone in Karnataka.

SEZs, which emerged as major export hubs, started losing sheen after the imposition of minimum alternate tax ( MAT) and dividend distribution tax ( DDT).

Industry has sought a reduction or removal of these taxes to boost investments.

Exports from these zones increased from Rs 22,840 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 4.94 lakh crore in 2013-14.

The Commerce Ministry is struggling to increase exports as the country's shipments in the last three years have been hovering around $300 billion.

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