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10 SEZs averse to tax incentive zones
September, 16th 2009

Even as demand in overseas markets remained weak, developers of 10 SEZs have told the government that they do not want to build zones which enjoy tax incentives on exports earnings.

The board of approvals (BoA) on SEZs under the commerce ministry will take a decision on the exit proposals at its meeting on October 5. The board will also deliberate on setting up a panel of officers that will meet every week to clear routine permissions and approvals related to the tax-free industrial enclaves.

Of the SEZs that want to exit, nine have got formal approvalthey have land under possessionwhile another one is notified and is eligible for tax benefits for development.

More significantly, only three of the SEZs are from the infotech sector, which is hit hard by the economic down turn, while the rest are from manufacturing as well as biotechnology sectors. The board in its earlier meetings had cleared more than five exit proposals of notified infotech SEZs.

Developers who do not want to develop SEZs include Kolhapur-based Gremach Infrastructure Equipments & Projects, Kanchepuram-based ETL Infrastructure Services, as well as Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporations Jalna-based SEZ.

The BoA will also deliberate on a proposal for setting up of a five member panel, that will look in to routine clearances needed by SEZs. This move is expected to fast track procedural requirements. All matters on SEZs are now referred to the board, which meets once in a month.

The BoA will also deliberate on a proposals of finalsing a list of about 25 services consumed by SEZs, for which duty refund claims can be directly addressed to the service tax department.

While, the BoA has got just two applications for setting up new zones, the government owned Cochin SEZ has applied for setting up a second phase.

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