Commerce ministry to start consultations on special economic zones: Suresh Prabhu : 20-11-2018

The commerce ministry will soon start consultations with its finance counterpart and other ministries to implement the suggestions made by a committee on revamping special economic zones (SEZs), Union Minister Suresh Prabhu Monday said. Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani-led committee, constituted by the ministry to study the existing SEZ policy, submitted its report to the commerce and industry minister here.

“The suggestions of the committee are very constructive and the Commerce Ministry will immediately begin formal consultations with the finance ministry and other ministries so that implementation of the committee’s recommendations may be done without any delay,” the ministry said in a statement quoting Prabhu.

The objectives of the committee were to evaluate the SEZ policy, make it WTO compatible, and suggest measures for maximizing utilisation of vacant land in these zones.

It said the success seen by services sector like IT and ITeS has to be promoted in other sectors such as healthcare, financial services, legal, and design services.

The committee has recommended several measures, including continuation of tax incentives, migration of SEZs to employment and economic enclaves, and creation of link infrastructure and maintenance for enclaves.

According to the draft recommendations of the committee, incentives should be linked with employment, investment, technology/innovation, and infrastructure status for these zones to improve access to financing.

The SEZ Act, 2005, supported by SEZ rules, came into effect on February 10, 2006.

Exports from special economic zones grew by about 15 per cent to Rs 5.52 lakh crore in 2017-18

Source : Financial Express

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