statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 4 JUNE: The government will soon notify the Special Economic Zones reforms which seek to ease the land requirement norms and provide for an exit policy, according to commerce secretary Mr SR Rao.
“I think in a couple of weeks’ time rules (on SEZ reforms) will come out,” Mr Rao told reporters here on the sidelines of an Assocham function.
The government had announced these reforms in the supplementary Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).
Once a major attraction for investors, SEZs lost sheen following the imposition of MAT (minimum alternate tax) and DDT (dividend distribution tax), including certain provisions in the proposed Direct Tax Regime (DTC), besides the global slowdown.
The government had taken note of the fact that there are acute difficulties in aggregating large tracts of uncultivable land lying vacant to set up SEZs.
For multi-product SEZs, the minimum land requirement has been brought down from 1,000 hectares to 500 hectares and for sector-specific SEZs, it has been brought down to 50 hectares.
Also, there would be no minimum land requirement for setting up IT/ITES SEZs, besides easing of the minimum built-up area criteria.
The 170 functional SEZs ~ export-oriented enclaves ~ have attracted an investment of over Rs 2.36 lakh crore and exports from them totalled Rs 4.76 lakh crore in 2012-13, a growth of over 2,000 per cent over the seven-year period.
So far, the government has notified about 390 SEZs in different parts of the country. The SEZs provide employment to about one million people.