The government has sacrificed Rs 77,694.37 crore revenue during 2012-13 and 2014-15 for promoting special economic zones (SEZ), which are export hubs. The fiscal concessions and duty benefits allowed to SEZs are in the nature of incentives to achieve the SEZ objectives, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
The revenue foregone on account of concessions availed by the SEZ developers and units under certain provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961, as well as customs duty and excise duty availed during 2012-13 was aggregated at Rs 23,305.40 crore. In 2013-14 and 2014-15, the estimated revenue foregone was Rs 27,855.10 crore and Rs 26,533.87 crore, she said.
She also said that as on December 2015 there are as many as 205 operational SEZs. Exports from such zones in 2014-15 stood at Rs 4,63,770 crore as compared to Rs 4,94,077 crore.
Replying to a separate question on coastal economic zones (CEZs), she said as part of the Sagarmala Programme, CEZ is conceptualised as a spatial-economic region that will be around and integrally linked to a group of major and minor ports. It would be a region over which the influence of port exists in so far as supporting industrial and other economic activities is concerned. Development of port based industrial parks, promoting captive industries and ancillary facilities would be some of the activities covered under the CEZ, she said.
“Once the CEZs are identified and their high level perspective plans are developed, the detailed master plans leading to identification of projects and their detailed project reports (DPRs) would be prepared,” she said.
The minister said in accordance with the DPRs and the preparedness of the implementing agencies such as state governments, state maritime boards and central ministries, individual projects will be taken up preferably through private sector or public sector partnership route, whenever feasible. “The CEZ has been conceptualised for the first time,” she added.