SEZs TO PROMOTE INVESTMENT IN EXPORT ORIENTED ACTIVITIES
Date : 03 Mar 2003
Location : New Delhi
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are being established in various parts of the country in order to promote investments in export oriented activities. The major differences between Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are (i) no minimum export performance stipulation for SEZ units, (ii) domestic sales on payment of fully duty allowed for SEZ units against a ceiling of 50% of exports for EPZ units (iii) retention of 100% export earnings by SEZ units in EEFC account; for EPZs this is restricted to 70% (iv) simplified custom and central excise procedure in SEZs.
Government had announced a SEZ Scheme in April 2000. The scheme envisages setting up of SEZ in the public, private, joint sectors or by the State Governments. Further, the existing EPZs could also be converted into SEZs. In accordance with the above policy, 8 existing EPZs are located at Santa Cruz (Maharashtra), Cochin (Kerala), Kandla and Surat (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Falta (West Bengal) and NOIDA (Uttar Pradesh) have been converted into SEZs.
Based on detailed project reports submitted by the State Governments/private promoters, 3 new SEZs have been formally approved. In addition, ‘in principle’ approval has been granted for setting up of 14 new SEZs. Since the SEZs have been approved for establishment in the private/joint sector/by the State Governments, it is not possible to indicate a time frame for operationalisation of the Zones. This was stated by Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.