Exports from SEZs dip 1.8% in April-Dec 2015

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 14, 2016


132 developers give more time to complete SEZ projects, says Commerce Minister

Exports from special economic zones (SEZs) declined 1.89 per cent year-on-year to ₹3.41 lakh crore in April-December 2015, Parliament was informed today.

In 2014-15 too, exports from these zones fell 6.13 per cent to ₹4.63 lakh crore.

In order to boost exports from SEZs, the government periodically reviews the policy and operational framework of these zones and takes necessary steps to facilitate speedy and effective implementation of SEZs, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

She also said that during the last three years and current financial year (up to February 2016), the Board of Approval (BoA) has granted more time to as many as 132 developers of SEZs across the country to complete projects.

The BoA is an inter-ministerial body headed by the Commerce Secretary, dealing in SEZ-related issues.

Time and again, SEZ developers and units have complained that imposition of the minimum alternate tax and the dividend distribution tax has impacted exports from these zones.

No foodgrain imports

Replying to a separate question, the minister said the government has not imported foodgrains (wheat and rice) for the central pool since 2008-09.

“At present, there is no proposal to import wheat and rice for the central pool stock,” she added.

In a separate reply, she added that the government has no proposal to ban the import of wheat.

To another query on WTO, the Minister said India has been emphasising on a constructive discussion on public stockholding for food security and a special safeguard mechanism at meetings held in Geneva.

“In future meetings also, India will continue to pursue these issues in coordination with other developing countries,” she said.

In a separate reply, she said the government is committed to pressing the issue of public stockholding at WTO in order to take forward the mandate given in the Bali and Nairobi ministerial conferences.

“India has sought to implement the decisions on the issue through active and constructive engagement by members,” she added.

In a separate reply, Sitharaman said: “The SEZs located in the country has seen a slowdown in terms of exports, slower operationalisation, increased number of applications for denotification, a fewer number of applications for setting up new SEZs etc.”

MAT, DDT factor

She said the slowdown may be due to a number of factors, including withdrawal of exemption from MAT and DDT provisions, an uncertain fiscal regime for SEZs and the global slowdown in exports.

As many as 23 SEZs have been notified during the last three years and the current year. The total area notified for these zones is 3,023.67 hectares, she added.

The Minister, I a reply to a question, said natural rubber production in the country is estimated to have decreased by 12.7 per cent during April 2015 to January 2016 compared with production during April 2014 to January 2015.

Published on March 14, 2016
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