Reverting the status of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the benchmark of 2005-06 crucial to attract seamless investments in SEZs : PHD Chamber

No.PR-130 June 15, 2020 New Delhi Reverting the status of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the benchmark of 2005-06 crucial to attract seamless investments in SEZs : PHD Chamber PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized a webinar on Growth of EOUs/SEZs in India: COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 Scenario today. Dr L B Singhal, Development Commissioner, Noida Special Economic Zone (NSEZ), Government of India and Chief Guest at the webinar appreciated the efforts of PHD Chamber to organize such a timely interactive session. He opined that there has been a significant progress in the exports from SEZs in India from around USD 5 billion in 2005-06 to around USD 112 billion in 2019-20. He further mentioned about the growth of investments and employment generation in SEZs during the past few years. He said that after the gradual re-opening of the economy during the nationwide lockdown due to pandemic COVID-19, the economic activities of SEZs have steadily resumed for revival trade and industry. There is a need for undertaking further reform measures to encourage the manufacturing sector in SEZs in India to enable manufacturing enterprises contribute in the SEZs growth story, said Dr L B Singhal He said that most of the recommendations of the Baba Kalyani Committee on SEZs have been implemented and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is in the process of implementation of the remaining recommendations to facilitate greater ease of doing business for SEZs in the present global market scenario. Around 100 people from trade and industry participated in the webinar and raised various queries on procedural issues and compliances related to SEZs in India. Shri Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed all the participants in the webinar and appreciated the proactive steps taken by the Government to help trade and industry overcome the wild tide of COVID-19. He said that SEZs in India have been recognized as an important mechanism for trade and investments promotion, creation of infrastructure, employment generation, promotion of regional development, increase in foreign exchange earnings, improving export competitiveness and transfer of skills and technology. At this juncture, as various foreign companies are looking at India for investments, facilitation to SEZs will be crucial to attract potential investors and to explore the full potential of SEZs, said Shri Pradeep Multani. He suggested to revert the status of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the same benchmark that was in the year 2005-06 for availing full facilities and incentives which allow foreign entities to invest seamlessly in various SEZs across the country. Thus, the 2005-06 policy environment should once again be adopted for SEZs where there was not Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT). The decision to revert the status of SEZs to 2005-06 would enable SEZ developers to contribute significantly in the economic growth trajectory of the country and attract foreign companies with the lucrative benefits of SEZs thereby generating greater economic activity and employment opportunities, said Shri Multani. Keeping in view the rapidly changing global trade and investment dynamics, more conducive policy environment for SEZs supported with strong and well-built facilities and incentives would be crucial not only to attract large chunk of foreign investments and boost industrial activities but also to create tremendous employment opportunities for the growing work force in India. The other eminent trade and industry experts who addressed the webinar include Shri Bhuvnesh Seth, Vice Chair, Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZ (EPCES), Shri S K Gupta, Director, Artha SEZ Noida, Shri J P Lawania, CEO, Megma Rfid and Dr S P Sharma, Chief Economist, PHD Chamber. Ends. Media Division PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry