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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Centre to decide on new SEZs on Feb 8

The Centre will take up fresh applications for special economic zones (SEZs) on February 8 even as more and more developers are seeking extra time to execute their projects due to slackening demand for commercial space.

"The Board of Approval (BoA) headed by Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar will consider proposals for setting up of SEZs on February 8," a government official said.

The 19-member inter-ministerial BoA would also take up other miscellaneous requests by developers besides procedural issues, he added.

Last meeting of the inter-ministerial BoA was held in December 2009.

The zeal at which companies were approaching the Commerce Ministry to get approvals for setting up SEZs in 2008, disappeared in the following year due to the slackening demand for commercial spaces in wake of global credit squeeze which led to depressed economic activities.

About 90 developers, including biggies like Reliance, Infosys, Jindal Stainless Steel and Wipro have either approached or already been granted extension for one year to execute their projects.

The new direct tax code that would lead to overhaul of the Income Tax Act, has also created uncertainty among the developers and units in the SEZs over continuation of the tax sops.

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