Singhal calls for more reforms

The Indian Special Economic Zones (SEZs) has made significant progress in increasing exports to US$112 billion in 2019-20 from around US$5 billion in 2005-06.

This update was given by Dr L B Singhal, Development Commissioner, Noida Special Economic Zone (NSEZ) at the webinar organized by PHD Chamber on 15 June 2020.

Economic activities in SEZs have steadily resumed with the revival of trade and industry following the gradual re-opening of the economy from the nationwide lockdown due to pandemic COVID-19, he disclosed.

But there is a need for undertaking further reform measures to encourage the manufacturing sector in SEZs and contribute to the SEZs growth story, Singhal pointed out.

Most of the recommendations of the Baba Kalyani Committee on SEZs have been implemented and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is in the process of implementation of the remaining recommendations to facilitate greater ease of doing business for SEZs in the present global market scenario, he informed the industry webinar.

As a number of foreign companies are looking at India for investments, facilitation to SEZs will be crucial to attract potential investors and to explore the full potential of the zones, added Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He suggested reverting the status of SEZs to the same benchmark that was in the year 2005-06 for availing full facilities and incentives which allow foreign entities to invest seamlessly in various SEZs across the country.

Thus, the 2005-06 policy environment should once again be adopted for SEZs where there was not Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT), Multani said.

The decision to revert the status of SEZs to 2005-06 would enable SEZ developers to contribute significantly to the economic growth trajectory of the country and attract foreign companies with the lucrative benefits of SEZs thereby generating greater economic activity and employment opportunities, said Multani.

Keeping in view the rapidly changing global trade and investment dynamics, more conducive policy environment for SEZs supported with strong and well-built facilities and incentives would be crucial not only to attract a large chunk of foreign investments and boost industrial activities but also to create tremendous employment opportunities for the growing workforce in India, he stressed.

Around 100 people from trade and industry participated in the webinar and raised various queries on procedural issues and compliances related to SEZs. fiinews

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