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There is no proposal to broaden the range of tax concessions for Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which has seen more than Rs 4 lakh crore investments till the end of September this year, the government said on Monday. SEZ is a designated duty-free enclave and developers of such facilities would get direct as well as indirect tax concessions. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that there is no proposal at present to broaden the range of tax concessions for SEZs. The fiscal concessions and duty benefits allowed for SEZ developers and units include exemption from central sales tax, service tax and from income tax for 15 years.
They are also entitled to duty-free import/domestic procurement of goods."As on September 30, 2016, an investment of Rs 4,06,690 crore has been made in different SEZs and an employment for about 16.88 lakh persons has been generated," she said in a written reply. In recent years, various steps are being taken for promoting investments in SEZs. Sitharaman said the initiatives include a reduction in minimum land area requirement for setting up new SEZs to 50 per cent for multi-product and sector-specific ones and introduction of online processing of various activities relating to SEZ developers and units for improving ease of doing business. Responding to a query on whether there are plans to set up a SEZ for marble processing works, Sitharaman said, "there is no new thinking at the moment". The government has ensured that the policy for the marble sector would benefit every section of marble producers and those people with skill for marbles, she added.