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Commerce ministry plans to revamp SEZ scheme news
24 January 2012

The commerce ministry is expected to repack the special economic zone (SEZ) scheme in order to offset tax burden and make them attractive to investors. The ministry, which is the nodal agency for SEZs, has also called a meeting with business bodies on January 27 to seek suggestions on revamping the SEZ scheme.

The ministry wants to bring out norms soon to 'offset the burden' on SEZs due to the imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT).

The commerce ministry is also likely to reduce the minimum required land area to set up an SEZ and simplify norms in order to increase their operational efficiency.

It would also ease contiguity norms to remove the difficulties in procuring land and instead permit a broader category of types of units to come up in sector-specific SEZs.

The changes, which are consistent with the planned manufacturing investment zones, will also provide for incentives to attract investments and in backward areas.

Top executives from realty majors such as DLF, leading information technology companies such as Infosys, as well as representatives from industry bodies such as CII, FICCI and Assocham and software industry body Nasscom, are expected to attend the meeting.

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Commerce ministry plans to revamp SEZ scheme