Commerce Ministry to Confirm Tax Breaks for SEZs

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Jan. 4 – India’s Commerce Ministry will consult with the Finance Ministry to confirm the tax breaks available to special economic zones (SEZs) reports The Economic Times.

This is to clarify the security of existing SEZ tax breaks for developers despite the draft of the direct taxes code proposing to cut down on tax benefits on profits provided to SEZ developers.

“Commerce minister Anand Sharma will have a separate meeting on SEZ issues with the finance minister before the budget,” a commerce department official told The Economic Times.

Currently, SEZ developers are qualified for a 100 percent tax exemption on profits for a decade, claimable within the first 15 years of operation. The draft of the direct taxes code suggests that profit-linked incentives for SEZ units be replaced with an investment-linked scheme.

“The new proposals has created uncertainty for both present and potential investors who do not know whether their investments would get the returns that they have calculated based on the existing tax sops,” the official added.

So far, the government has approved around 540 SEZs in the country. with 100 being already operational.