Levies have dented SEZ investor-friendly image: Sitharaman told

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Levy of minimum alternate tax (MAT) and dividend distribution tax (DDT) on special economic zones have dented the investor friendly image of SEZs and created uncertainty in the minds of both foreign and domestic investors, representatives of exporting industries informed the government on Wednesday.

“Imposition of MAT and DDT on SEZs has dented the investor friendly image of SEZs, created uncertainty in the minds of foreign and domestic investors, and has adversely affected the growth, investments, employment and exports from SEZs in India and resulted in loss of valuable foreign exchange earning of the country,” P.C.Nambiar, chairman Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs, told Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, according an official release after the meeting.

Nambiar requested the minister that MAT should be totally withdrawn or at least reduced to its original rate of 7.5 percent, it added.

The commerce ministry said Sitharaman assured the delegation that her ministry has already taken up the issue with the union finance ministry, as also the request forf removing the Sunset Clause on SEZs.

Sitharaman also assured the delegation she would look into the matter “regarding preferential rates of FTAs to import from SEZs by DTA importer use of land in Non-Processing Area, and dual use of land in Non-Processing Area,” the statement added.

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