In an attempt to boost investors' confidence, Minister of Commerce & Industry of India, has decided to seek cabinet's approval on new norms for the revival of special economic zones (SEZs). Several developers had surrendered their projects, after the levying of Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) on SEZs in 2010-11.
The SEZs had experienced a drastic slowdown after the levying of taxes. While, profit-linked benefits were the main attractions of the SEZ scheme. The government is planning incentives for developers who want to set up SEZs in remote and undeveloped areas and also to consider loosen up minimum land area requirement for different categories of SEZ, besides extending the benefits of export schemes to SEZ units in order to attract more investments in the sector.
Exports from SEZs were at Rs 3.65 lakh crore in 2011-12. With investment of Rs 2.02 lakh crore, these zones provided employment to over 8.45 lakh. The overseas shipments from the 153 operational tax-free havens have come down to 12 per cent in the country's total exports from about 30 per cent in the previous years.