Commerce Ministry preparing a discussion paper on SEZ

The Commerce Ministry is preparing a discussion paper on Special Economic Zones (SEZ) to address all issues raised over the implementation of the SEZ Act and Rules 2006 and the alternatives for resolving them, a senior official of the Department of Commerce said here on Wednesday.

Releasing the eighth edition of the book on notifications/circulars issued by the various wings of the Government such as the Revenue Department, the Reserve Bank of India and the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), on the various facets of SEZs from time to time, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Mr Anup Wadhawan, said the time has now come to critically scan the achievements and developments that occurred ever since the operationalisation of SEZ Act and Rules in 2006.

Mr Wadhawan said the growth of SEZ sector has largely supervened in five to six States such as Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Rajasthan and the dispersal of manufacturing and economic activities did not occur in a significant manner, though there was remarkable growth and achievements b y SEZs in terms of investment, exports and employment generation. He also said that a large number of SEZs have been formally approved but only a few remain in operation.

In his remarks, Export Promotion Council for Export-Oriented Units & SEZs (EPCES) Chairman, Mr Jatin R Mehta, recalled that exports from EOUs and SEZs were to the tune of Rs 33,647 crore in 2003 when the Council was set up. But this had risen to Rs 3, 75,692 crore last fiscal, representing a phenomenal growth. Vice Chairman, EPCES Mr P.C.Nambiar said the council members would meet Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance headed by the former Finance Minister Mr Yashwant Singh on the issue of Direct Tax Code (DTC) to highlight the adverse effect of the implementation of the DTC on SEZs and their future growth.


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