Annual Supplement (2013-14) to the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14: Govt declares SEZ reforms to arouse investors' interest

Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Anand Sharma announced The Annual Supplement 2013-14 to Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2009-14, which has introduced the following package of measures to revive investors’ interest in SEZs:

  • Reduction in the total size of land area required for development of SEZs to its half. For Multi-product SEZ from 1000 hectares to 500 hectares and for Sector-specific SEZ from existing 100 hectares to 50 hectares.
  • No minimum land requirement for setting up IT / ITES SEZs
  • Introduction of Graded Scale for Minimum Land Criteria which would permit a SEZ an additional sector for each contiguous 50 hectare parcel of land.
  • Introduction of Sectoral broad-banding to encompass similar / related areas under the same sector.
  • For issues relating to Vacancy of Land:  While, the existing Govt. policy allows for parcels of land with pre-existing structures not in commercial use to be considered as vacant land for the purpose of notifying an SEZ, it has now been decided that additions to such pre-existing structures and activities being undertaken after notification would be eligible for duty benefits similar to any other activity in the SEZ.
  • Inclusion of an Exit Policy in existing SEZ Framework: Decision to allow transfer of ownership of SEZ units, including sale.

Several schemes and steps have been introduced and many existing schemes have been modified which include:

  • Zero Duty Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme
  • Widening of Interest Subvention Scheme
  • Widening the Scope of Utilization of Duty Credit Scrip
  • Market and Product Diversification
  • Incremental Exports Incentivisation Scheme
  • Facility to close cases of default in Export Obligation
  • Served from India Scheme (SFIS)
  • VKGUY Scheme : Visesh Krishi Gram Upaj Yojana (VKGUY) Exports Benefit Scheme.
  • Status Holder Incentive Scheme (SHIS)
  • Recredit of 4% SAD
  • Duty Free Import Authorization Scheme (DFIA)
  • Import of Cars
  • Improvement in quality and timeliness of Foreign Trade Data
  • Second Task Force on Transaction Cost in International Trade
  • Electronic Data Interchange Initiatives 
  • Ease of Documentation and procedural simplification
  • Widening of items eligible for import for Handloom/Made ups and Sports Goods



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