FM to look into continuation of tax sops: SEZs

Last Updated 21 July 2010, 15:57 IST

"...(Mukherjee) assured that suggestions...would be looked into carefully," Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs (EPCES) that led the delegation said after meeting the Finance Minister here.

The revised discussion paper on the Direct Tax Code (DTC), which would overhaul the Income Tax Act, proposes tax exemptions only for the existing SEZ units.

"In case no income tax benefit is provided to the new SEZ units, no entrepreneur would like to set up a unit in the SEZ," EPCES Chairman R K Sonthalia said.

The income tax benefits (100 per cent exemption for first five years and 50 per cent for the next five years) have helped SEZs attract investments of about Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
Exports from SEZs increased to Rs 2.20 lakh crore in 2009-10 from Rs 22,000 crore in 2005-06.

EPCES said with the enactment of the SEZ Act in 2005, India gave a strong message about long-term stability and continuity of the scheme.

"In case SEZ is going to be guided  by DTC, which could be altered every year by budgetary exercise, then we will be striking at the fundamental strength of the SEZ Scheme. Hence, SEZ scheme must not be altered by any legislation," EPCES Director General L B Singhal said.

Besides others, Reliance Haryana SEZ, Ansal Properties and DLF were also part of the delegation, Singhal said.

After meeting Mukherjee, the EPCES delegation called upon Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and sought his intervention for continuation of the income tax benefits.

(Published 21 July 2010, 14:12 IST)

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