KOCHI:The Cochin Special Economic Zones (SEZ) has recorded over 111 per cent increase in export growth. This was announced by the Export Promotion Council of India EOU and SEZ (EPCES) under the Ministry of Commerce.
It was also announced that the business in the 204 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) has clocked 18 per cent increase, between 2016-17 and 2017-18. This has been in spite of the challenges faced, with factors such as non-removal of MAT, the imposition of dividend distribution tax and the impending sword of sunset clause from 2020 (when the tax benefits will go away).
Additionally, the tight competition from established and upcoming free zones has not acted as a deterrence to the growth velocity. The merchandise export from SEZs clocked 2,73,487 crores in April 2017-18 vs. 2,30,797 crores in the preceding year 2016-17. The highest growth has been from Falta and Cochin SEZ with 112 & 111 per cent increase respectively.
The software export from the SEZ has also seen a surge of 17 percent year on year basis between years ending March 2017 and March 2018. India has exported software worth Rs 277,857 crore against Rs 237,771 crore last year.
The combined export from SEZs in India of merchandise and software has been in tune of Rs 5,51,344 crores as against 4,68,567 crores in last year.
Export of non-conventional energy equipment has seen an increase of 113 per cent and likely to be a new source of earning foreign exchange for the country in times to come. Bio-tech is another sector that is emerging out to be a new avenue for the country’s export.
New units who set up their businesses in the SEZs in last two years have achieved total export of Rs 17,355 crore that indicates enough scope to grow in the special economic zones of India.
In the SEZs, the single window clearance, approachable development commissioners, approval of new units or changes in the LOP in monthly meetings of unit approval committees, are the pointers towards the ease of doing business as against business in domestic tariff area where a businessperson have to deal with many more authorities and departments.
Vinay Sharma, officiating chairman of Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs said: “SEZs are the only place, where the production and services continue without obstruction or hindrance of uninvited, unwanted visitors, which is a norm in the DTA. A safe, secure and peaceful environment flushed with abundant green belts and conducive ambience definitely helps increase productivity and defect free products.”
He added that for any foreign investor looking for 500 acres or even more to set up their plant, only an SEZ can allot the land quickly without any encumbrances, litigations, or disruptions.
A single window clearance can even help the investor start construction in 4 to 6 weeks which is only possible in the SEZs. The investors from other countries can choose to locate their production facilities for export to other countries and to sell in domestic markets based upon their choice.
Dr. Sharma invited the investors to the India SEZs and assured full support of the Council help them set their business in any of the SEZs.