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March 2, 2001                                       Feedback  

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Exporters laud FM's liberal exports policy

BS Economy Bureau

In a set of initiatives aimed at providing a more conducive environment for exports, the Budget for 2001-02 has proposed to exempt anti dumping and safeguard duty on goods imported by 100 per cent export-oriented units and units in free trade zones (FTZs) and special economic zones (SEZs).

As part of the proposed amendments in section 8-B and 9-A of the Customs Tariff Act, a provision has also been made for exemption from safeguard on tariff rate quota basis.

The announcements made by Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha in the Budget for 2001-02 are part of a strategy aiming at a liberal policy for Special Economic Zones.

The Economic Survey had said that the success of SEZs would depend "upon the degree to which domestic regulations, restrictions and infrastructure adequacies are eliminated in these zones".

Sinha also announced that SEZ developers would be entitled to a 10-year tax holiday and 30 per cent deduction out of the profits for the subsequent five years.

The developers would be entitled to claim the benefit if the SEZ is developed before March 31, 2006.

The tax holiday can be availed in 10 consecutive assessment years in a block of 15 years.

This is part of the plan to attract more private investment in SEZs, which is a crucial part of the medium-term strategy to provide export thrust through creation of new infrastructure.

So far, proposals for setting up two SEZs in Positra (Gujarat) and Nanguneri (Tamil Nadu) have been cleared.

These SEZs are to be set up in partnership with private players.

Also, a continuation of the 10-year tax holiday for 100 per cent export-oriented units and units in FTZs, SEZs has been permitted even if the shareholding pattern of these units happens to change.

Officials said the move was aimed at improving the investment climate in the SEZs.

A waiver of anti-dumping and safeguard duties would result in reduction of input costs.

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