Annual Supplement (2013-14) to the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14: Govt declares SEZ reforms to arouse investors’ interest
Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Anand Sharma announced The Annual Supplement 2013-14 to Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2009-14, which has introduced the following package of measures to revive investors’ interest in SEZs:
- Reduction in the total size of land area required for development of SEZs to its half. For Multi-product SEZ from 1000 hectares to 500 hectares and for Sector-specific SEZ from existing 100 hectares to 50 hectares.
- No minimum land requirement for setting up IT / ITES SEZs
- Introduction of Graded Scale for Minimum Land Criteria which would permit a SEZ an additional sector for each contiguous 50 hectare parcel of land.
- Introduction of Sectoral broad-banding to encompass similar / related areas under the same sector.
- For issues relating to Vacancy of Land: While, the existing Govt. policy allows for parcels of land with pre-existing structures not in commercial use to be considered as vacant land for the purpose of notifying an SEZ, it has now been decided that additions to such pre-existing structures and activities being undertaken after notification would be eligible for duty benefits similar to any other activity in the SEZ.
- Inclusion of an Exit Policy in existing SEZ Framework: Decision to allow transfer of ownership of SEZ units, including sale.
Several schemes and steps have been introduced and many existing schemes have been modified which include:
- Zero Duty Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme
- Widening of Interest Subvention Scheme
- Widening the Scope of Utilization of Duty Credit Scrip
- Market and Product Diversification
- Incremental Exports Incentivisation Scheme
- Facility to close cases of default in Export Obligation
- Served from India Scheme (SFIS)
- VKGUY Scheme : Visesh Krishi Gram Upaj Yojana (VKGUY) Exports Benefit Scheme.
- Status Holder Incentive Scheme (SHIS)
- Recredit of 4% SAD
- Duty Free Import Authorization Scheme (DFIA)
- Import of Cars
- Improvement in quality and timeliness of Foreign Trade Data
- Second Task Force on Transaction Cost in International Trade
- Electronic Data Interchange Initiatives
- Ease of Documentation and procedural simplification
- Widening of items eligible for import for Handloom/Made ups and Sports Goods