The commerce ministry has invited stakeholders’ suggestions on Baba Kalyani Group Report on SEZ policy in a statement issued by the department. The report panel was headed by Baba Kalyani, Chairman and MD of Bharat Forge, submitted the report on reviving special economic zones in November 2018. “The suggestions (of stakeholders) on the report are required to be sent latest by January 30,” the ministry said in a statement.
The government has rolled back many tax incentives and imposed minimum alternate tax and dividend distribution tax which SEZs are not happy with currently. As of now there are at least 231 operational SEZs in the country and, so far, 355 SEZs has been notified by the government. Exports from SEZs grew around 15 per cent to ₹5.52 lakh crore in 2017–18, as compared to the previous fiscal.
The panel has also suggested renaming SEZs to Employment and Economic Enclaves (EECs), extension of the sunset clause, and the simplification of processes and tax benefits for the services sector. Other recommendations include extension of MSME schemes, dispute resolution through arbitration, and flexibility in the dual-usage norms for non-processing areas in SEZs.
Till now, ₹19,381 crore has been invested in SEZs by the Central government.