Millennium Post

Govt foregoes Rs 28K cr revenue to boost exports from SEZs

The tax foregone - customs duty and central excise duty including rebate - under the SEZ scheme was Rs 10,440 crore in 2013-14.

It was Rs 9,363 crore in 2012-13 and Rs 8,153 crore in 2011-12, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

As per the SEZ Act and the rules, SEZ units and developers are eligible for customs, central excise and service tax exemption on procurement of raw materials for manufacture of finished goods meant for exports as also duty free procurement of capital goods. The minister also informed that the government has provided incentives under -- Vishesh Krishi and Gram Udyog Yojna, Focus Product Scheme, Focus Market Scheme and Served from India Scheme -- to boost overall exports.

Under these schemes, it has provided incentives worth Rs 15,537 crore, Rs 11,865 crore and Rs 8,610 crore in 2013-14, 2012-13 and 2011-12 respectively.

Similarly, Rs 21,799 crore were disbursed in the last financial year under the duty drawback scheme. It was Rs 17,422 crore and Rs 12,331 crore in 2012-13 and 2011-12 respectively.

“The benefits provided under various schemes have facilitated the exports from India and made them more competitive,” Sitharaman said.

In 2013-14, India’s exports stood at $314.4 billion as compared to $300.4 billion in 2012-13 and $306 billion in 2011-12. She also said that a monitoring system is in place to ensure proper utilisation of the said rebate and incentives. Replying to a separate question on SEZ, the minister said that as on February 28, 37 zones have been de-notified by the commerce ministry.

“Reasons given by developers for seeking de-notification include economic meltdown, poor market response, non- availability of skilled labour force, lack of demand for space, changes in fiscal concessions regime for SEZs,” she added.

So far approval has been given to 436 proposals for setting up such zones, out of which 347 have been notified as on date. Presently, a total of 199 SEZs are operational.

India’s exports up 0.88% in Apr-Feb

India’s exports grew marginally by 0.88 per cent to $286.58 billion during the April- February period of the current fiscal, government said on Wednesday.

India’s merchandise exports was $284.07 billion in the same period in the previous year and “there has been a marginal increase of 0.88 per cent in exports during April- February. ... The downward trend is muted,” Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.

Replying to a supplementary, she said the government was taking several steps to raise the export kitty further. India’s imports during April-February also went up by 0.70 per cent to $411.80 billion,
Sitharaman said.
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