Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said the government is looking at easing certain restrictions for units in the special economic zones (SEZ) to promote the sector’s growth.
SEZs in India are treated as foreign territories for trade and customs duties, with restrictions on duty-free domestic sales.
“We are looking at ways and means to liberalise some of these restrictions on
SEZ units. It’s under consideration ... We are discussing it with all the stakeholders and hopefully that itself will give a significant boost to the SEZ units,” Goyal said here at an industry chamber function.
Regarding the industry’s demand to extend benefits of the Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) Scheme to SEZs, he said the ministry will go about it “cautiously”.
“At some point in time we will consider it once we are very confident that it will not lead to WTO non-compliance,” he added.
The government in 2021 announced the rates of tax refunds under export promotion scheme RoDTEP for over 8,500 products such as marine goods, yarn and dairy items. SEZs and export-oriented units (EOU) were kept out of the scheme.
Under RoDTEP, various central and state duties, taxes, and levies imposed on input products, among others, will be refunded to exporters.
He added that because of budgetary constraints, the ministry was not able to extend the scheme to iron and steel sector also.
In these zones, the largest areas of exports are petroleum products and software.