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Concerns of SEZs addressed in the Budget: Anand Sharma

POLICY ISSUES ON LABOUR INTENSIVE UNITS TO BE ADDRESSED SOON

GOVERNMENT EXTENDS INTEREST SUBVENTION OF 2 PER CENT FOR ONE MORE YEAR FOR EXPORTS

During an informal interaction with the media on the outcome of the General Budget 2010-11, Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, has stated that the support and incentives for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will continue without any dilution. Earlier, SEZ unit holders and developers had raised concerns regarding continuation of tax benefits like income tax holiday after the Direct Tax Code comes into effect, replacing the existing Income Tax Act. The Minister informed the reporters that the Finance Minister in his Budget speech has said that the government is committed to ensuring continued growth of SEZs to draw investments and boost exports and employment.

Replying to a question raised by the media on continuation of sops to Export Oriented Units (EOUs), Shri Sharma said: if there are any issues, we will assess and if there are legitimate concerns which may have serious impact, we can always take it up with the Finance Minister. He also informed that some other policy issues concerning the labour intensive units, would be addressed soon.

As regards exports, which have turned positive after 13 months since November 2009, the Minister said that the export shipments are expected to further contribute to the momentum in the last quarter of the fiscal. The Budget allocation for the micro, small and medium enterprises has also been raised from Rs.1794 crore to Rs.2400 crore for 2010-11. This sector contributes 40 per cent of the countrys exports and the additional allocation would further boost the export growth.

The government has now proposed to extend the interest subvention of 2 per cent for one more year for exports covering handicrafts, carpets, handlooms and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Earlier, the government had provided interest subvention of 2 percent in pre-shipment export credit up to March 31, 2010 in certain sectors.

A number of steps have been taken to simplify the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regime. The government also intends to make the FDI policy user-friendly by consolidating all prior regulations and guidelines into one comprehensive document, which would enhance clarity and predictability of our FDI policy to foreign investors. India received FDI equity inflows of US $ 20.9 billion during April-December 2009.



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