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ANSWERED ON:  16.09.2020
Impact of Corona on SEZs
Ajay (Teni) Misra
Will the Minister of

COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY be pleased to state:-

(a) whether the units established in Special Economic zones have also been affected adversely during the Corona period;
(b) if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether the Government is contemplating to make some provisions including interest moratorium, non-increase of lease rate, deferment of rate payment, etc., in order to provide relief to units established in Special Economic Zones from corona crisis; and
(d) if so, the details thereof?

(a) and (b): A comparative statement in respect of merchandise exports from SEZs during the period of April to August, is as under:

Merchandise exports (April-August, 2020) Merchandise exports during the corresponding period of previous year (April – August, 2019)
Rs. 81,481 Crores Rs. 1,30,129 Crores

However, Services exports has shown a growth of 9% during April’2020 to August’ 2020 in comparison to corresponding period of previous year.

(c) and (d): To facilitate SEZ Developers/Co-developers/Units, following measures were taken during the COVID-19 outbreak:

i. The last date of filing of various compliances was extended from 31.03.2020 to 30.06.2020 e.g. Quarterly Progress Report (QPR), SOFTEX form and Annual Performance Reports (APR).
ii. Development Commissioners (DCs) were directed to facilitate extension of Letter of Approvals (LoAs) and other compliances scheduled to expire during COVID pandemic, through electronic mode, in a time-bound manner. Further, DCs were directed in cases where it was not possible to grant extension through electronic mode to ensure that the Developer / Co-developer / Units did not face any hardship due to such expiry of validity during this period of disruption, and ad-hoc interim extension / deferment of the expiry date was granted without prejudice till 30.06.2020.
iii. Along with IT/ITES Units, Non IT/ITES Units in SEZs have also been allowed to take desktop/laptop outside SEZs to work from home. This has enabled exports especially in IT/ITES sector to register a positive growth despite lockdown.
iv. Power has been delegated to Development Commissioners for broad-banding
in case of manufacturing of essential items like masks, sanitizer, gowns and other protective/preventive products/instruments subject to post-facto ratification by the Approval Committee.
v. Directions were issued that there should be no increase in lease rent for the units in Central Government SEZs for the Financial Year 2020-21.
vi. Payment of lease rent of first quarter was deferred upto 31st July 2020 for all the units in Central Government SEZs. Further, Development Commissioners were also requested to allow the units to clear the first two quarterly instalments of lease rent in six equal instalments starting from October 1st, 2020.
vii. Development Commissioners were also requested to advise developers of State Government/Private SEZs to consider similar relief measures in their zones.
viii. All DCs have been sensitized to adopt electronic work culture and to extend necessary support to the units, including those involved in manufacturing of drugs, essential items etc, and to follow COVID guidelines.


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