SEEPZ has $30 billion export potential, but needs complete revamp: Piyush Goyal

Union minister of commerce and industry Piyush Goyal has called for a complete revamp of the Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ), stating that it has the potential to achieve $30 billion in exports given the right product mix and clear direction.

SEEPZ, established in 1973 initially to promote electronics manufacturing in India, needs a complete makeover, Goyal said “Let's aim for transformational change and not incremental change. Let's bring back the vibrancy into SEEPZ like the earlier years”, the minister said while addressing the exporters and trade partners.
Goyal was on a visit to SEEPZ, in Mumbai, on Thursday as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Saptah being celebrated by his ministry.
“I am confident that with everyone's cooperation, SEEPZ can be made modern and world class. We can think of a public private partnership scheme whereby industry units who revamp their properties can be given exemption from rent revision for 10 years,” the minister said.
He urged the exporters based in SEEPZ to collectively decide about making the Common Services Centre operational and revamping the SEEPZ premises and transforming some centres here into swanky new state-of-the-art centres for serving international customers. The minister also suggested that India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) could have a 30,000 – 40,000 sq ft Exhibition Complex at SEEPZ to facilitate buyer-seller meets.
Citing the example of Surat Diamond Bourse, he urged SEEPZ to take help in terms of facilitation for this work. The minister also cited the example of Rs4,000-crore makeover of Pragati Maidan in Delhi. Goyal said the centre has already announced Rs200 crore aid for internal expansion and refurbishment of one of India’s oldest export processing zones.
“We're doing partial de-recognition of SEZs, we've liberalised a number of rules already, we've now allowed everyone to be multi-sectoral, including SEEPZ.  We're also discussing how the SEZs can play a more important role in the Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) through an equilisation levy,” Goyal further said. SEEPZ  should be looking at $30 billion export, he added.
The minister also stated that many of the issues raised by exporters, like permission to allow e-commerce seamlessly for artificial jewellery up to $800, are under consideration by high powered committees. In fact, the minister said, he is “fighting hard” for the gem and jewellery sector to get 5 per cent duty concession, as they are currently charged in the UAE, as part of Early Harvest Agreement.  The minister also stated that more Free Trade Agreements are being finalised with UK, UAE, Australia and EU, to try and provide more market access to exporters.
All 739 districts of the country are celebrating Vanijya Saptah from 20-26 September 2021, as part of Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav, with more than 250 programmes organized across the country. The minister complimented all exporters and stakeholders for their support in making international trade simpler, grow faster, seamless and become an engine of growth for our economy in the years to come.