398 SEZs yet to start operations: Minister

Tags: SEZ, IT
As many as 398 special economic zones (SEZs) have not yet started operations despite getting necessary approvals, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Rajya Sabha today.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, she said setting up of SEZs is a long term process and time for completion of project depends on several issues.

"The reasons for not being able to operationalise the SEZs include changed fiscal incentive regime for SEZs, difficulty in achieving contiguity of land, global recession, delay in approvals from statutory/state government bodies and delay in environment clearance etc," she said.

She said SEZ is cancelled/de-notified subject to payment of all applicable duties and tax benefits availed by the developer and receipt of no-objection certificate (NOC) from the concerned state government.

"The loss is more in terms of lost opportunity in creation of additional economic activities, generation of jobs and their contribution to exports," she said.

Sitharaman said the government reviews functioning of SEZs as an on-going process.

"Government periodically takes necessary measures so as to facilitate speedy and effective implementation of SEZ scheme," she added.

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