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SEZ Online to go live on October 15, 2010

Business

Ministry of Commerce has decided to launch ‘SEZ Online’ from October 15, 2010. The website will benefits & facilitate SEZ Developers / SEZ Units / EOUs working under the jurisdiction of the Development Commissioners all over the country and avoid loss of time, energy, cost and effort according to DK Mittal, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
There are 375 notified SEZs in the country while 122 are operational. He was hopeful that the exports in this quarter from SEZs will increase from the level of 1st quarter by Rs60,000 crore. The performance of SEZs despite global meltdown has been satisfying.
Inaugurating ASOCHAM International Convention on SEZs here today Mr. Mittal announced that Ministry of Commerce has taken some of the initiatives including the implementation for setting up SEZ facility electronically and also emphasized the need for marketing as well the skill development.
Mr Mittal further said the Indian Act for SEZs takes care of all the acts and no where in world this kind of facilitating environment exists. He expressed the concern that the developers not aggressively marketing the SEZs and taking innovative measures. He advised the developers to concentrate on innovation and take fast action what ever has been promised.
Mr Mittal added that the Ministry has already taken up the taxation issue with the MOF and expressed hope that there will receive favourably considerations. Speaking on the occasion, SK Sonthalia, Chairman, EPC for EOUs & SEZs said that exports from SEZs have increased significantly from Rs. 22,000 crore in the year 2005-06 to Rs. 2,20,000 crore during the year 2009-10 registering a growth of over 10 times in just 4 years.
Mr Sonthalia also mentioned that the draft DTC bill and the present DTC bill has already created uncertainty for the SEZ scheme since August 2009 and has already affected investment in the SEZs. SEZ scheme has tremendous potential for increasing exports, attracting investments and increasing employment. Director General, Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs, Dr LB Singhal stated that SEZ scheme has done extremely well after operationalization of SEZ Act and Rules as in the SEZs direct employment of 1, 34,000 in the March 2006 has gone up to 5,50,000 in 30th June 2010.
Speaking on the occasion, Development Commissioner Noida SEZ, SC Panda said that the Schemes like SEZs are special schemes with defined objectives of enhancing India’s share in global trade, attracting foreign and domestic investment, creating world class business and social infrastructure, generating employment and last but not the least, providing a hassle free business environment to entrepreneurs.
Navin M. Raheja, CMD, Raheja Developers Ltd also said that as tax benefits are one of the key demand drivers of SEZs, the changes proposed under the new bill are expected to have significant implications for all stakeholders of real estate in India.
Assocham SEZ Council Co-Chairman, Dr KK Jajodia also said that the non-extension of profit based tax incentives to new SEZs is a definite setback to the overall SEZ scheme, it is a step forward towards rationalisation aimed at introducing a consistent tax policy.
DS Rawat, Assocham Secretary General welcomed the announcement that Finance Ministry would incorporate clarifications for extending tax and income-tax benefits for SEZ units after the government adopts new Direct Tax Code.

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