New SEZ rules to spur exports

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   Indian exports are set to get a major boost, with the Central Government simplifying rules to set up Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which have been leading the growth in exports from the country.
   The simplification of the rules comes with the recent amendments made by the Ministry of Commerce in the form of third Amendment Rules 2019.
   Mr A Rama Mohan Reddy, Chief of Vizag SEZ, echoing the views of industry, said the amendments constituted a welcome measures. This will promote exports and bring in more foreign exchange to the country by encouraging setting up of more multi sector SEZs in small chunks of lands by the end of this FY. Also, this facilitates setting up of more industries across the country, he said.
   India is in 3rd position in the world with 234 operational SEZs and 5141 operational units, with Rs 5.09 lakh Cr investment, 7.05 lakh Cr exports, generating an employment of 21.17 lakh employees during 2018-19.
   The Notification issued by the Department of Commerce on 17th December, 2019, simply removes the age-old characterization of SEZs made in Rules in 2006 to achieve greater flexibility in setting up of SEZs, says Mr Reddy, who looks after setting up of SEZs in the states of AP, Telangana, and Chattisgarh and Yanam UT.
   According to amendment to Rule 5, Sub Rule 2 of Special Economic Zone Rules, all SEZs are now declared uniform and any SEZ can be allowed to be set up over 50+ ha, which otherwise used to be 500 ha, except IT/ITES where minimum land area requirement is not specified but only built up area is specified.
   Henceforth all existing SEZs will become multi sector SEZs. This removes the difficulty in search for availability of large chunks of land for setting up of a SEZ in multisector. Any Special Economic Zone which is introduced as product or sector specific as on date, will continue to cease its status and will be treated as Multi product.

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