The center will soon free up untapped space in SEZs

Land, 30,000 cr. area built to find use

The government will soon release unused built-up areas worth around 30,000 crore and unused land inside special economic zones (SEZs) for other economic activities, Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said on Wednesday. of a meeting of the CII.

The decision to release plots of unused land is expected to be operationalized by the end of August, as part of a simpler regulatory regime the government is putting in place for SEZs, which account for around 30% of India’s exports.

“There is a lot of space within SEZs, including free land. We will make the process of denotifying these lands more flexible. As long as you can use this land for industrial purposes, we will allow the cession of the SEZ land, ”Subrahmanyam said, adding that a similar change would be introduced later to denote the unused space in the SEZ buildings. ZES.

“You built a building for an IT SEZ – half is used and the other half is not. The numbers are staggering. We have 10 crore square feet of unoccupied space in units built in over 250 SEZs. In monetary terms, at 3,000 yen per square foot, that’s 30,000 crore of unused built-up area, which can be used for something else, ”he said.

The senior trade official also said an import watchdog was set up this month to track any surges in item entries and report it to relevant ministries. “We are not trying to control imports … but these can be potential manufacturing areas in the country,” he said.

The ministry also launched an exercise to restructure the General Directorate of Foreign Trade. “They should actually become a business promotion organization instead of an incentive distribution organization. I think a change in mental constitution is needed, ”Mr. Subrahmanyam said.

While waiting for 50,000 crore to be paid

The government will pay around 50,000 crore in pending export benefits over a two-year period and notify the RoDTEP rate rates expected by exporters by this Friday or weekend, Subrahmanyam said, even as he reported “a massive increase” in the incentives paid to export.

“There is something the government is concerned about – how are export incentives pulled to three times the figure over five years, with exports being roughly constant. Any incentive should lead to better performance, so that real exports are encouraged, ”he said.

Exporters complain about their inability to price orders effectively in the absence of rate notification under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) regime, which replaced previous export incentive regimes in January.

“The old programs like MEIS, SEIS were not WTO compliant. Probably, by the weekend, by Friday, we should notify the RoDTEP tariffs, so there will be clarity. There is a commitment from the Ministry of Finance, ”he declared during the national conclave of the CII.

“There are approximately 50,000 crore of script backlogs to be issued for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. We will liquidate them over two years by probably issuing post-dated certificates so that you can get them cheaply from a bank and cash them now, ”he added.

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