India has already received $8 billion worth of investment in special economic zones (SEZs) and $25 billion more will be invested soon, said a senior official of the Commerce and Industry Ministry.
"In the 15 months since the SEZ act and rules were notified on February10, 2006, investments of the order of $8 billion have already been made and another $25 billion investment is under way," Commerce Secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai said at a World Trade Organisation (WTO) policy review meeting in Geneva on Friday.
"So far, over 31,000 people have got direct employment and this is expected to rise to 100,000 by the end of this calendar year and to four million by the end of 2010. The large number of textile, gems and leather SEZs being established would provide employment for a less skilled labour force," Pillai said in a statement.
On the issue of India imposing several types of taxes on imported goods besides the mandatory tariffs, he said, "In the first place, India levies basic customs duties on imports."
"In addition, imported articles are liable to an additional duty, which is equal to the excise duty leviable on a like article produced or manufactured in India. This provides a level playing field to domestic production vis-à-vis imports."
Pillai said India had received $15.7 billion in foreign investment during 2006-07, and in 2007-08 this figure is likely to go up to $25 billion, referring to the doubts expressed by the WTO committee that India has restrictions on FDI, which is delaying potential foreign capital inflows.