The Rajya Sabha on Thursday cleared the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill 2019, a day after it was passed by the Lok Sabha.
This Bill replaces the Special Economic Zone (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 promulgated last March, allowing trusts to seek establishment of units in SEZs.
This is done by amending the definition of "person" under Section 2(v) of the SEZ Act 2005 to include 'trusts'. Apart from trusts, any entity that the central government may notify from time to time is also included in the definition of 'person' as per the Ordinance.
As per Section 3(2) of the Act, the proposal for establishment of SEZ can be made by any "person".
Currently, the definition of "person" includes an individual, whether resident in India or outside India, a Hindu undivided family, co-operative society, a company, whether incorporated in India or outside India, a firm, proprietary concern, or an association of persons or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, local authority and any agency, office or branch owned or controlled by such individual.
SEZs are given government incentives including tax benefits and single-window clearance system. The developers and units of these zones enjoy certain fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as no licence requirement for import; full freedom for subcontracting; and no routine examination by customs authorities of export/import cargo. They also enjoy direct and indirect tax benefits.
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