NEW DELHI: The Commerce Ministry has given more time to six special economic zone (SEZ) developers for implementing their projects. The decision to extend the validity of formal approvals to these developers was taken during the recent meeting of the Board of Approval (BoA).The board is the highest decision-making body on SEZs.
It is headed by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia. "The board approved extension of the validity of the formal approval for a period of three months up to April 30," the minutes of the BoA meeting said. The Commerce Ministry is taking steps to revive investor’s interest in these zones. It has time and again asked the Finance Ministry to extend sops like rollback or reduction in the minimum alternate tax. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu had recently assured SEZ developers and units to take up their issues with respective ministries, including finance, for resolution. 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. Till December 1, 2017, the Government had approved
423 SEZs, of which 222 are operational. During April-September 2017-18, exports from these zones grew 13 per cent to about Rs 2.67 lakh crore.