Baba Kalyani heads group to study SEZ policy

The government of India has constituted a group of eminent persons, headed by Baba Kalyani, chairman of Bharat Forge, to review the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) policy and suggest measures to make it more relevant.
The SEZ Policy was in vogue since 1 April 2000. Parliament passed the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, and it was enacted after receiving Presidential assent on 23 June that year. Subsequently SEZ Rules came into effect on 10 February 2006.
The SEZ Act entitled investors in specified zones to tax incentives. But the Act was later diluted and the SEZs were brought under the ambit of Minimum Alternate Tax and Dividend Distribution Tax, which rendered SEZs unattractive to investors.
The SEZ policy has also been challenged at the WTO by the US over the incentives offered and this issue had to be addressed. The group will evaluate the SEZ policy, suggest measures to cater to the needs of exporters in the present economic scenario and make the SEZ policy WTO compatible, suggest course correction in SEZ policy, make comparative analysis of the SEZ scheme and dovetail the SEZ policy with other similar schemes.
The group has been asked to submit its recommendation in 3 months.
The group headed by Baba Kalyani, has Ravindra Sannareddy, MD, Sricity SEZ Ltd, Neel Raheja, Group president K Raheja Group,  Arun Misra, MD, Tata Steel SEZ Ltd, Anita Arjundas, MD, Mahindra Life Space Developer, Ajay Pandey, MD and Group CEO, GIFT City SEZ ltd, Srikanth Badiga, director, Hyderabad Phoenix Developer, principal secretaries (industries) of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as members while additional secretary (in-charge of SEZ division, department of commerce) will be member secretary, and the director of SEZ, Department of Commerce, will be the coordinating officer.
As of now, 223 SEZs are operating in the country, which  have attracted total investment of Rs18,878 crore.