SEZ developers to be exempted from local taxes in Haryana

Chandigarh, Jan 19 (PTI) In a big relief for theSpecial Economic Zone (SEZ) developers in the state, theHaryana government today said it would exempt them from localtaxes and cess, as given to SEZ units.

"We will extend exemption (from taxes, duty) to SEZdevelopers also...there is a requirement for bringingamendment in the rules (of SEZ Act)...we will push forexemption in the coming budget," state Industry Secretary Y SMalik today said during an interactive meeting of SEZ unitsand developers held here today.

The state government had exempted both SEZ developersand units from payment of VAT, fee, cess or any other leviesin SEZ Act. However, later it was withdrawn from developersand was restricted to SEZ units, developer said.

SEZ developers, who undertook massive investments in thestate, had feared long term impact on infrastructuredevelopment of SEZs in the state.

Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs today held anopen house meet here to resolve their state level issues. Themeet was chaired by Commerce and Industry Additional SecretaryD K Mittal. The council has so far held 34 such open housemeets in different parts of the country.

The state government has also agreed to have a singlewindow system for providing refund of stamp duty paid ontransfer of land. Many of the SEZ developers, including DLF,have pointed out that the duty refund process was very long,which blocked their funds.

During the meeting, SEZ developers including Reliance,DLF, Unitech, also sought exemption from External DevelopmentCharges (EDC).

Stating that developers have to invest more for creatingeco friendly SEZs, they said that EDC charges are a deterrentfor investments into manufacturing and services sectors.

In case the EDC is not withdrawn, then they recommendedthat developers should be allowed to make EDC payment based onphased development undertaken by them without interestpayment.

Haryana has at present 101 SEZ proposals, out of which 34are notified and 11 have formal approval, while rest hasreceived in-principle approval. Out of 34, only 3 SEZ areoperational and the state achieved total export of Rs 2,500crore from SEZ only last fiscal.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is also setting upan SEZ in Jhajjar and Gurgaon.

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