New legislation proposed to replace SEZ Act

New Delhi, Feb 1: The Centre plans to implement a new Special Economic Zones Act which will enhance the role of state governments for setting up of these hubs.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget FY23, said: “The Special Economic Zones Act will be replaced with a new legislation that will enable the states to become partners in aDevelopment of Enterprise and Service Hubs’.

“This will cover all large existing and new industrial enclaves to optimally utilise available infrastructure and enhance competitiveness of exports.”

Besides, the new legislation, she said that Centre will undertake reforms in customs administration of SEZs.

“… It shall henceforth be fully IT driven and function on the ‘Customs National Portal’ with a focus on higher facilitation and with only risk-based checks. This will ease doing business by SEZ units considerably.

“This reform shall be implemented by 30th September 2022.”

Furthermore, Sitharaman proposed various initiatives to make GIFT City more attractive.

She proposed that world-class foreign universities and institutions would be allowed in the GIFT City to offer courses in Financial Management, FinTech, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics free from domestic regulations, except those by IFSCA to facilitate availability of high-end human resources for financial services and technology.

Additionally, Sitharaman proposed an ‘International Arbitration Centre’ which would be set up in the GIFT City for timely settlement of disputes under international jurisprudence. In addition, she said that services for global capital for sustainable & climate finance in the country would be facilitated in the GIFT City.