Modi government to revive SEZs as instrument of growth

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SEZs to be used as instrument of growth
New Delhi, July 10: The Narendra Modi-led NDA government will revive Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and make them effective instruments of industrial production, export promotion and employment generation.

Announing this in his budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said effective steps would be undertaken to operationalize SEZs to revive investors' interest to develop better infrastructure and effectively and efficiently use the available unutilized land.

According to the ministry of commerce and industry, of the 47,803 hectares of SEZ land notified, only 17,689 have been put to use so far.

And of the 566 formally approved SEZs, only 185 are in operation.

The industry has been asking the government to roll back the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on SEZs, saying that the levy has suppressed the potential of these zones as a tool to promote exports and generate jobs.

The previous government had imposed 18.5 percent MAT on book profits of SEZ developers and units and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) in 2011.

In recent months, several developers have surrendered projects as the imposition of taxes has eliminated the incentives for setting up units in those zones.

SEZs contribute nearly a third of the country's total exports and employ about 15 lakh people.

IANS

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