Government plans revamping of Special Economic Zones

Special Economic ZonesThe Government is planning to revamp Special Economic Zones (SEZs) so as to boost manufacturing under Make in India scheme.

There are also plans to exempt factories located in SEZs, from  Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) as it has been identified as one of the main reasons for the stunted growth of these zones. At present factories have to pay MAT at the rate of 18,.5 per cent since 2012.

Minimum area requirement for smaller and special category States will also be reduced.

A panel comprising  of Noida SEZ development Commissioner LB Singhal and his counterparts at Kandla SEZ, Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (Seepz) and Madras Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) has been set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to suggest changes in the framework to align it with the GST regime.
The panel has also recommended incentives for setting up overseas banking units in these zones.
Also, the panel has sought to reduce the  the minimum area needed to 4 hectares from 25 hectares for establishment of sector-specific SEZs such as biotechnology, non-conventional energy equipment, agro-based food processing and services in the North-Eastern states, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and the Union Territories.
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