Commerce Ministry to take up 4 new SEZ proposals on Feb 23

New Delhi, Feb 14: The Commerce Ministry will on February 23 consider four new special economic zones proposals, including those of Infosys and Cognizant.

The Board of Approval (BoA), headed by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, will take up these applications at the meeting. Besides Infosys and Cognizant Technologies, the Ministry will also decide on the fresh proposals of Saltire Developers and Amin Properties.

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The board would also take up proposals of 12 SEZ developers and units including Mahindra World City (Jaipur) and Zydus Technologies which have sought more time to implement their projects.

Infosys Ltd has proposed to set up an IT/ITeS special economic zone in Mohali at an area of 20.23 hectares.

Similarly, Cognizant Technologies Services has also plans to set up the zone in Telangana. According to the agenda note of the BoA meeting, Mahindra World City (Jaipur) has sought extension of the validity period of formal approval, granted for setting up of sector SEZ for Gems and Jewellery at Jaipur, beyond February 1.

"The developer has requested for further extension so as to implement the project. Investment made on land till 31st August, 2015 is Rs 4.76 crore and other investment Rs 2.36 crore," the agenda note said.

Zydus Technologies Ltd, a unit in Zydus Pharma SEZ at Ahmedabad, wants extension of validity period of its letter of permission (LoP) beyond June 28, 2016. The LoP was issued on June 29, 2009 for manufacturing and export of various transdermal patches (medical patches). SEZs have emerged as a major export hubs of the country.

Setting up of new zones and timely operations of existing units will help in promoting exports from the country. However, according to the industry, imposition of minimum alternate tax has impacted the growth of these zones. The Commerce Ministry has asked the Finance Minister for removal of MAT in the Budget.

The Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs (EPCES) had said that the government should not withdraw any tax incentives from SEZs as it might hit exports and job creation.

During the April-September period of current fiscal, exports from these zones stood at Rs 2.21 lakh crore as against Rs 4.63 lakh crore in 2014-15. Overall merchandise exports from India have been declining since December 2014.


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