Govt frets over go-slow stance of SEZ builders

Govt frets over go-slow stance of SEZ builders

The move is likely to hurt the countrys aim to achieve $500 billion exports

Govt frets over go-slow stance of SEZ builders

Commerce ministry is apprehensive that when the share of SEZs in total exports has been growing, the increasing tendency among developers to delay projects may put paid to country achieving export target to US$500 billion by 2015.

In 2008-09 exports from SEZs stood at Rs 99,689 crore accounting for 11.85 per cent of total exports. In 2009-10 exports from SEZs shot up to Rs 2,20,711 crore posting growth of 121.4 per cent and accounted for 26.10 per cent of total exports. In the current fiscal it is expected to go up to nearly Rs 3,00,000 crore. The Board of Approval has been receiving representations from developers for extension of time to complete their projects.

Since the enactment of SEZ Act 2005, the BOA has cleared as many as 582 SEZ proposals. Out of this, 374 SEZs have been notified while a total of 130 SEZs have commenced export.
The BOA headed by Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar is scheduled to meet March 25 to take up applications from as many as 40 developers seeking more time for implementing their projects. The uncertainty over extension of existing tax concessions for manufacturing units in SEZ is discouraging developers to go ahead with SEZ projects, it is opined. The Direct Tax Code (DTC) Bill has proposed that tax exemptions for SEZs will be confined to existing units only.

 Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has proposed to levy Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) of 18.5 per cent on book profits of SEZ developers and units. The changes in tax rate would be effective April 2012. Both developers as well as units in tax-free enclaves were earlier exempted from MAT under Section 115 JB of the Income Tax Act. The Commerce Ministry feels that the levy of MAT can act as a disincentive for SEZ units. “We have taken up the issue of extension of tax benefits for SEZ units with Finance Ministry” sources said.

SEZ exports up 47% in Apr-Dec 2010

New Delhi, pti:

Exports from special economic zones (SEZs) grew by 46.7 per cent year-on-year to Rs 2.23 lakh crore during April-December period of the current fiscal, Parliament was informed.

“The total physical exports from SEZs in the first three quarters of the current financial year has been to the tune of Rs 2,23,132 crore approximately registering a growth of 46.7 per cent over the exports of corresponding period of the previous year,” Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

Scindia said a total of 130 tax-free enclaves are currently exporting goods. “This include seven central government SEZs and 12 state/private sector SEZs set up prior to the enactment of SEZ Act 2005,” he said. He further said as on December 2010, an investment of Rs 1,95,348 crore has been made in SEZs and the total direct employment has been generated for 6,44,073 persons. Shipments from SEZs increased by 121 per cent to Rs 2,20,711 crore in 2009-10 over the corresponding period last year.