SEZ developers, units ask Commerce Ministry for more time to implement projects
A decision on these proposals would be taken by the Board of Approval (BoA) for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in its meeting on September 12. BoA is headed by the commerce secretary.
"Formal approval to the developer was granted on November 14, 2006. The developer has been granted nine extensions. The last extension was granted by the board in November 2017 till November 13 this year. The developer has requested a further extension up to November 13, 2019," the agenda of the board meeting said.
JBF Petrochemicals, a unit in Mangalore (multi-product) SEZ at Mangalore, has sought an extension of Letter of Permission (LoP) beyond September 15, 2018.
As per SEZ rules, LoP is valid for one year. Development commissioners of that respective SEZ can extend LoP for two years and further one more year if two-thirds of activities including construction is complete.
Extensions beyond the third year (in cases where two-thirds activities are not complete) and fourth year are granted by the BoA. There is no time limit up to which the board can extend the validity.
Similarly, Aurobindo Pharma, a unit in Nellore's APIIC MP SEZ, wants an extension of its LoP till July next year.
The other developers and units which want more time include Golden Tower Infratech, Kumar Builders Township Ventures, Q3 Infotech, Temple Packaging, Benzo Chem Industries, and Helios Photo Voltaic, among others.
SEZs are export hubs in the country as the government provides them several incentives including tax benefits and single window clearance system.
The developers and units of these zones enjoy certain fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as no license requirement for import; full freedom for subcontracting; and no routine examination by customs authorities of export/import cargo. They also enjoy direct and indirect tax benefits.
Exports from SEZs grew about 15 percent to Rs 5.52 lakh crore in 2017-18.