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Commerce Ministry Calls Stakeholders Meeting On SEZ Today

Thursday, September 10, 2015
By A Business Reporter

The Commerce Ministry has convened a stakeholders meeting today to discuss various issues related with special economic zones with a view to boost investments and exports from SEZs. During the meeting, to be chaired by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, issues such as taxation matters and further ease of doing business are expected to come up. "The main aim of the meeting is to understand the issues of SEZ developers and units. Ways to enhance investments in these zones will be discussed," an official said.

Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZ would raise the issue of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT). SEZs, which emerged as a major export hub in the country, started loosing sheen after the imposition of these taxes. Industry has sought a reduction or removal of these taxes to boost exports and investments. Officials from Revenue Department, Central Board of Direct Taxes and few Chief Secretaries of states are expected to attend the meeting along with private sector players.

Exports from these zones increased from Rs 22,840 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 4.94 lakh crore in 2013-14. The meeting assumes significance as the Commerce Ministry is struggling to increase exports. The country's shipments in the last four fiscals have been hovering around USD 300 billion. Increase in exports from these zones would help the country in enhancing overseas shipments.

During a recent meeting of the Board of Approval, an inter-ministerial group on SEZs, it canceled as many as 22 zones and gave more time to 27 developers to implement their projects.

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