Exports from SEZs log a marginal growth

The exports from Special Economic Zones registered a marginal increase of 0.77% in FY16.

Pooja Jain

The overseas shipments from Special Economic Zones registered a marginal increase of 0.77% in FY16.

The exports from 204 SEZs climbed to Rs 4.67 lakh crore in 2015-16 from Rs 4.63 lakh crore in FY15, reveals data available with Ministry of Commerce.

An official from the Commerce Ministry stated that the positive increase in overseas shipments from such zones indicate that there is potential to boost overall exports of the country via SEZs.

Speaking to the correspondent on phone regarding how to address the issues faced by SEZs, PC Nambiar, Chairman of Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs, said, “The lack of coordination between the State government, development commissioners and planning commissions is the main hurdle to the growth of SEZs. That needs to be resolved for further development.”  The lacking consistency among development commissioners is another hindrance to be addressed, he added.

Due to the slowdown in global demand particularly in the European Union market, which is India’s traditional export destination, India’s total exports plunged by 9.89% in FY16.

Looking at the growth of SEZs the experts from the industry suggested that the Centre ought to take steps to foster exports from such zones.

Rahul Gupta, Vice Chairman of Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs said, “the reason behind the growth is the easy way of doing business in such zones. SEZs have huge potential waiting to be explored with government’s support in rolling back or cutting down the Minimum Alternate Tax.” He also added that resolving tax issues will lead to improved exports from the SEZs for the latest fiscal.

EPCES, an apex body of SEZs, is hoping that the Ministry of Commerce will forward the issue to the Finance Ministry to boost overseas trade from SEZs, he said.

While the government is laying emphasis on job creations, aiming to push manufacturing sector, the SEZs also need special attention, he added.

According to the data available with Commerce Ministry, the SEZs have successfully attracted investments of Rs 3.76 lakh crore and even created job opportunities for 15.91 lakh people.

SEZs are majorly active and operated in southern states like Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, besides Maharashtra.