What are the features of the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019?
Both the houses of Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have passed the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The features of the bill are:
- The bill amends the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 which provides for the establishment, development and management of Special Economic Zones for the promotion of exports and replaces an Ordinance that was promulgated on March 2, 2019.
- The bill amends the definition of the person under the act.
- Earlier the person was defined as an individual, a Hindu undivided family, a company, a co-operative society, a firm, or an association of persons. The amendment bill adds adds two more categories to this definition by including a trust, or any other entity which may be notified by the central government.
Impact of the Amendments
- The amendment enables trusts to be considered for granting of permission for setting up of units in SEZs.
- The amendment provides flexibility to the central government to include in the definition of a person, any entity that the central government may notify from time to time. This will facilitate investments in SEZs.
Government estimates a proposed investment Rs 8,000 crore in the SEZs. SEZs are special demarcated areas in the country that have different regulations to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Such areas are considered outside the customs territory. They are entitled to various tax incentives to boost manufacturing, promote exports as well as generate employment.