SEZ approval process to online from Oct: Commerce official

"Special Economic Zones (SEZs) online means all approvals for setting up units or the infrastructure facilities will be done electronically," Additional Secretary in the ministry D K Mittal said at an Assocham function here.

Also considered as a green initiative, it would help the units reduce transaction cost and time, he said.

"The benefit would be that units would be able to do transactions very fast. Their transaction cost will be reduced dramatically...We expect that by middle of next month we will be fully on that system," Mittal said.

The data collection and collation will also become easier for everybody, he said, adding "everything will be electronically, whether it is a shipping bill or bill of entry."

Mittal further said that the ministry had asked all the Development Commissioners (DCs) to hold monthly meetings with officials of operational units to address their problems.

"We have asked our DCs to go to the notified zones at least once a month and have an open house discussion. This should start from October 1," he said.

Mittal also asked the developers to market SEZ scheme to attract more investments from abroad.

"We did not find developers doing enough marketing to attract investments for units. If you are not able to spend money on marketing, then how do you get units (in SEZs) and how do you get your money back," Mittal said.

Direct employment in SEZs has gone beyond 5.5 lakh people and investments have crossed Rs 1.66 lakh crore.

Exports from 122 operational SEZs in the last fiscal were valued at Rs 2.20 lakh crore.

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