Six SEZs to become operational in TN by Dec

News Posted - 2010-07-02

Six more special economic zones (SEZs) are likely to become operational in Tamil Nadu by December even though the proposed direct tax code seeks to withdraw tax sops to new units in the SEZs.

"We expect six new SEZs to go on stream this year," a senior Commerce Ministry official said.

The new SEZs that are expected to become operational in the state include a multi-service and light engineering SEZs at Kalpakam near here, a free-trade warehousing zone at Sriperamubdur, a food processing zone at Tuticorin and a multi-product SEZ at Nanguneri.

Of the 57 notified SEZs in Tamil Nadu, 11 non-IT SEZs and 10 IT zones are already operational.

Exports from non-IT SEZs in 2009-10, was worth Rs 35,640.64 crore, while software exports totalled to Rs 8,152 crore.

Following the release of first DTC draft last year, scores of SEZ units and developers had raised concerns that the zones were attractive due to the tax sops and their withdrawal would drive away future investors.

According to the revised DTC draft, only existing units will get tax exemptions.

"Any government rule affects business," Mahindra World City chief operating officer Sangeeta Prasad said. Mahindra World City near here, spread over 1,550 acres, has three sector-specific SEZs.

However, Madras Export Processing Zone(MEPZ) development commissioner Ajay Mittal does not believe so. "Economic activities with or without tax incentives have been taking place and they will continue to do so," Mittal said, adding most of the units in the MEPZ are thriving without the benefits as their 10-year exemption period has already expired.

The MEPZ came into existence in 1984, before the SEZ Act came into force.

Source: BS 28/6/10