Revival of SEZs on the cards

  • M Rajendran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 11, 2014 01:15 IST

Union finance minister Arun Jaitely has listed a series of measures to drive India’s growth in manufacturing and urbanisation with development of industrial corridors and revival of special economic zones taking priority.

Presenting his maiden union budget, Jaitely announced an allocation of Rs 7,060 crore for setting up 100 smart cities in India.

An initial corpus of Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for setting up a National Industrial Corridor Authority. Headquartered in Pune this authority will coordinate the development of the industrial corridors, with smart cities linked to transport connectivity.

Jailtely also highlighted the government’s commitment to hasten the master planning of Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor for establishing industrial smart cities in seven states of India. The master planning of three new smart cities in the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor region, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tumkur in Karnataka will also be completed.

Jaitely provided a perspective plan for the Bengaluru Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC) and Vizag-Chennai corridor would be completed with the provision for 20 new industrial clusters. "We will initiate work on select expressways in parallel to the development of the industrial corridors.

For project preparation NHAI shall set aside a sum of Rs 500 crore,” said Jaitely.

The finance minister also announced that Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh and its adjoining area will be developed as the key drivers of economic growth in the region with a special focus on hardware manufacturing.

Jaitely also announced that the government is committed to revive the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and make them effective instruments of industrial production, economic growth, export promotion and employment generation.

He also promised to take effective steps to operationalise SEZs, to revive the investor interest, to develop better infrastructure and to effectively and efficiently use the available unutilised land.

“While the finance minister made specific reference to the need to revive investments in SEZs and provided for some procedural simplification, no direct tax sops were provided in terms on relief from DDT and MAT,” said Naveen Aggarwal, partner-tax, KPMG India.

The government has simplified procedures with immediate effect for promoting SEZ as the requirement of furnishing service tax registration numbers of service provider — for services covered under reverse charge — are to be dispensed with.

The services of a developer shall be treated as being exclusively used for SEZ operation, if the recipient of service is a SEZ unit of the developer. Invoice is in the name of such unit/developer and the service is used exclusively for furtherance of authorised operations in the SEZ.

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