Article – 31 SEZ developers, units seek more time to implement projects

18 February 2015
Economic Times

NEW DELHI: As many as 31 special economic zone (SEZ) developers and units — including Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Zydus Technologies — have sought more time from the government for implementing their projects.
All these requests will be considered by the Board of Approval (BoA), headed by Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher, on February 20.
The BoA is a 19-member inter-ministerial body that deals with SEZ-related matters.
Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a unit in Dahej SEZ Ltd, has sought extension of its Letter of Permission beyond December 2, 2014.
“The unit has requested for further extension so as to implement the project… the unit has invested Rs 564.52 crore on the project and employed 280 people.
“It has completed construction of factory building, installation of plant and machinery and its support infrastructure,” the BoA agenda said.
Other developers who have sought more time include Smart City (Kochi) Infrastructure, Saraf Agencies and Golden Tower Infratech.
Further, the BoA will also consider the proposal of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd to set up multi-product zone in Gujarat.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs vide letter dated July 22, 2014 has granted security clearance to the proposal,” it said.
The Board would also take up the applications of 57 developers, including JSW Aluminium Ltd and Parsvnath, who have decided to surrender their SEZ approval applications.
Out of 57 SEZs, 35 tax-free enclaves are from IT/ITeS sector, while other sectors include engineering, biotechnology, gems and jewellery, pharmaceuticals and textiles.
In this backdrop, the government is considering to relax tax regime for the SEZs to revive investor confidence as these zones are major export hubs.
The Commerce Ministry, in its Budget proposals, has urged the Finance Minister to remove minimum alternate tax (MAT) and dividend distribution tax (DDT).
Meanwhile, exports from these zones increased from Rs 22,840 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 4.94 lakh crore in 2013-14.
The Ministry is struggling to increase exports as the country’s shipments in the last three years have been hovering around USD 300 billion.
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Courtesy of the Economic Times

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