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Feb 12, 2018 07:48 PM IST | Source: PTI

Will take up issues of SEZs with respective ministries: Prabhu

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu today assured special economic zone developers and units to take up their issues with respective ministries including finance for resolution.

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu today assured special economic zone developers and units to take up their issues with respective ministries including finance for resolution.

Addressing the SEZ developers and units here, he said the ministry is working to identify issues being faced by special economic zones (SEZs).

"We are working to find out (ways) to take next step forward. we are having some meetings...to identify the problems. We will work with other ministries, finance ministry particularly," he said here at the function of Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs (EPCES).

He said there are some complaints about the misuse of the policy but the industry should move forward by avoiding the pitfalls and capitalising on the best practices of these zones as "the idea (of SEZ) is still valid".

The industry has time and again asked the finance ministry to consider restoring tax benefits to these zones for supporting growth of the sector and generating jobs.

The EPCES has said the budget has "absolutely nothing" important for the SEZs despite flagging the key issues affecting the sector.

The industry has asked for the removal of minimum alternate tax (MAT) and continuation of tax incentives being enjoyed by units in these zones.

Units in SEZ enjoy 100 per cent income tax exemptions on export income for the first five years, 50 per cent for the next five years thereafter, and 50 per cent of the ploughed back export profit for another five years.

SEZs, which emerged as major export hubs in the country, started losing sheen after the imposition of minimum alternate tax and introduction of sunset clause.

Till December 1, 2017, the government has approved 423 SEZs, of which 222 are operational.

Meanwhile in a statement, the council said will introduce a nationwide skill development and enhancement initiative for its above 18 lakh strong workforce.

Officiating Chairman of EPCES Vinay Sharma export oriented units and SEZs provide direct employment to 18,23,451 persons.

During April-September 2017-18, exports from these zones grew 13 per cent to about Rs 2.67 lakh crore.

tags #Economy

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