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Centre weighs requests for benefits in SEZ common areas


The government is examining industry’s requests for a clarification by developers of special economic zones (SEZ) on returning the benefits taken for areas they would demarcate as domestic areas, officials said.

Developers have sought clarity on retaining the customs benefits in common areas such as gym, cafeteria and creche. Before the amendment, benefits were applicable to common areas of SEZs but now the demarcated areas will not be able to enjoy those.

The recent SEZ amendment allows denotification of full floors in information technology (IT) and IT enabled services SEZs in lieu of repayment of customs benefits.

“Industry has asked for clarification, especially regarding common areas,” said an official, who did not wish to be identified. As per the office memorandum issued on December 6, non-processing area will consist of complete floor and part of a floor will not be demarcated as a non-processing area. This non-processing area can be utilised to set up operations of businesses engaged in IT and ITeS.

During the April-August period, exports of goods and services from SEZs declined 9% year-on-year, with goods exports plunging 17% while those of services fell 3%.


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