Commerce ministry to hold SEZ stakeholders meet on Thursday

New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) India’s commerce ministry has called a stakeholders meeting here on Thursday to discuss issues related to special economic zones with a view to boost exports, in a context of several SEZ developers surrendering or delaying projects.

Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia had announced the meeting last week.

“A meeting has been scheduled on tenth of this month (September) with stakeholders to reassess the SEZ policy to see what needs to be done depending upon current requirements,” she told reporters.

The inter-ministerial Board of Approval on SEZs recently cancelled 22 zones for lack of satisfactory progress in executing these, and gave more time to 27 developers to implement their projects.

Industry has been asking for a reduction or removal of minimum alternate tax (MAT) and dividend distribution tax (DDT) imposed on SEZ developers on these investments, against the backdrop of a continuous decline in the country’s exports.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said last month that the country is likely to miss exports target for the fourth year in succession, unless the government steps in with corrective measures.

Last year, India recorded exports of $310 billion against a target of $340 billion. The current year export target is set at $310 billion.

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