Foreign Trade Policy to revive investors’ interest in IT SEZs

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New Delhi: The Annual Supplement 2013-14 to the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14 released today by the Union Minister for Commerce, Industry & Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma has a package of measures formulated to revive investors’ interest in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the IT sector and to boost exports.

IT exports constitute a very significant part of India’s exports and IT SEZs have a major contribution in it. Exports from IT SEZs during financial year 2012-13 have exceeded Rs. 1.40 lakh crore registering a growth of over 70% over the previous year’s exports. Today’s announcements have specifically addressed issues to boost growth of this very important sector and also to give a fillip to employment and growth in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

The present requirement of 10 hectares of minimum land area has been done away with. Now there would be no minimum land requirement for setting up an IT / ITeS SEZ. Only the minimum built up area criteria would be required to be met by the SEZ developers.

The minimum built up area requirement has also been considerably relaxed with the requirement of one lakh square meters to be applicable for the seven major cities viz: Mumbai, Delhi (NCR), Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata. For the other Category B cities 50,000 square meters and for remaining cities only 25,000 square meters built up area norm will be applicable. This is expected to benefit the private IT SEZs which will come up in Kerala.

The present SEZ Framework does not include an Exit Policy for the units and feedback was that this was perceived as a great disadvantage. It has now been decided to permit transfer of ownership of SEZ units, including sale.

In order to facilitate IT exports and to make it more flexible, the facility of ‘work from home’ has been extended to STPI / EOUs / BTPs / EHTPs.

Kerala IT News

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