In a major relief to SEZs, the central government has exempted goods imported by units or developers of special economic zones from integrated goods and services tax (IGST).
"The central government hereby exempts all goods imported by a unit or a developer in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for authorised operations, from the whole of the integrated tax leviable thereon under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 read with section 5 of the Integrated Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017," the Department of Revenue has said in a notification.
A SEZ area is considered to be a foreign territory for trade operations and duties, and is mainly set up for promoting exports. Exports from SEZs grew by about 12 per cent to Rs 5.24lakh crore in 2016-17. The shipments from these zones in 2015-16 were aggregated at Rs 4.68 lakh crore. Till May 1, the government had approved as many as 421 zones. Out of this, 218 are operational.