Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday assured special economic zone (SEZ) developers that the government will provide them extra time beyond the GST (goods and services tax) rollout date of 1 April, when the new direct tax code comes into effect scrapping income tax exemptions.
The minister said besides this concession, the government will continue to give investment-linked tax benefits to SEZ units and developers. Only the profit-linked tax exemptions will be withdrawn in the proposed DTC.
Mukherjee's clarification came while responding to a FICCI real estate representative, who raised the issue with the minister at its executive committee meeting in the capital, saying the government is reneging from its commitment given to the SEZ developers who have pumped in thousands of crores in the sector in the past few years.
"We will fulfill all commitments that we have given," Mukherjee, adding that till the cut-off date all units that start operations will get the tax benefit. "Certain extra time will be given beyond the cut-off date," he added.
He said the new tax code would be introduced in the monsoon session of parliament and gradually be broad-based, as it was not possible to address all concerns of such a large economy at one go.
Mukherjee said GST would bring in a new federal concept where both the states and the centre will legislate on duties together. He said the input credit in the GST structure will be available, where duties paid on raw material can be availed as benefit on the final product.