From concept to implementation [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]
(DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) "Export Processing Zones (EPZs) were created as areas insulated from the domestic tariff area. These are areas where imports/ exports, free of licensing policy restrictions, without import/ export duties, are made available, so as to make the raw materials, components available at par with international markets. This is done so that the end product can compete in the international markets.
EPZs aid in creating an industrial environment, which shall compete purely with other international destinations as an area where industrial infrastructure can take birth, including overseas investments.
These areas were proposed job incubation centres for high tech industries, whose experience shall percolate into domestic industry too.
These enclaves co-existed with domestic tariff area (DTA) where all existing import substituting policies remained intact. ""How it started
Kandla Free Trade Zone was the first EPZ to be set up in 1965. SEEPZ was set up on May 1, 1973 with the objective of (a) accelerating the progress of electronics. manufacturing in India (presumably encompassing the technology transfer objective) and (b) to take advantage of the growing electronics world market (export and foreign exchange objective). ""Taking it forward
Subsequently Noida export processing zone was set up in 1985, and Falta, Cochin, Chennai and Vishakhapatanam zones followed.
The physical exports of electronics hardware for SEEPZ started in September 1974. Subsequently, the Gem & Jewellery units were allowed to be set up in SEEPZ during 1987-88, which soon gave a glamorous twist to SEEPZ. ""Government incentives
The central government launched a series of fresh incentives in 1980 to expand export of manufactured from India.
Units under the 100% EOU Scheme could be located anywhere in the country, subject to locational guidelines. They were extended incentives similar to units in EPZ.
This scheme was originally administered by the Secretariat of Industrial Approvals (Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion) in the Ministry of Industry.""Policy changes
In the wake of changes of Industrial Policy in 1991, Development Commission was first designated as the nodal officer for 100% EOUs. Subsequently, almost the entire work relating to EOU units was transferred to the Development Commissioner. The Development Commissioner, SEEPZ-SEZ Is the nodal officer for 100% EOUs situated in state of Maharashtra, Goa, UT of Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.""New initiatives
In 2000, Government of India decided to set up new special economic zones/ convert some of existing export processing zones to special economic zones. SEEPZ was one of the three export processing zones converted as a special economic zone from November 1, 2000.
The others were Kandla Special Economic Zone and Cochin Special Economic Zone.
This was done to ensure that export production can take place in a more liberalized fashion by evolving unit approval committee under chairmanship of a Development Commissioner,.
The committee has representatives from various departments, central and state governments, to consider the applications to grant all approvals and clearances for the establishment and operation of units in special economic zones, to monitor the performance of the units.
Facilitating the process
The concept of UAC has made it easier for expediting the issues of the units concerning other departments, such as Environmental issues, taxation perspective, other local clearances issues.
The proposal falling beyond jurisdiction of the Unit Approval Committee, are sent to the 'Board of Approval' for consideration.
Facility for self-certification of import/export documents doing away with physical examination of goods, was introduced.
Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a specifically delineated duty free enclave and shall be deemed to be foreign territory for the purpose of trade operations and duties and tariffs. Goods and services going into the SEZ area from DTA shall be treated exports and goods coming from the SEZ area into DTA shall be treated as if these are being imported.
SEZ units may be set up for manufacture of goods and rendering of services. SEZ unit may import/procure from the DTA, without payment of duty, all types of goods and services, including capital goods, whether new or second hand required by it, for its activities or in connection therewith, provided they are not prohibited items of imports in the ITC(HS).
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