Six SEZs to become operational in TN by Dec

Six more 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 special economic zones.

Chennai: Six more 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
special economic zones.

"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
Sripermubdur, 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 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.

PTI

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