The SEZ Policy Review Committee, headed by Baba Kalyani, met in New Delhi. This was the final round of consultations with the committee members under the chairmanship of the Commerce Secretary. The group held its first meeting on 22nd June this year under the chairmanship of Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu. Subsequently, the group met again on 9th July and 20th August, 2018.
The objective of the Committee was to evaluate the SEZ policy framed in 2000 and suggest measures to make the policy WTO compatible, give suggestions which will encourage manufacturing and services sector and lead to maximizing utilization of vacant land in SEZs and create seamlessness between SEZ policy and other schemes like Costal Economic Zone, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, National Industrial Manufacturing Zone, Food Parks and Textile Parks.
The Committee held extensive discussions with representatives of Government of India and states. The changes in the macro-economic environment in India required a re-look at the SEZ Policy framework so that focus is on enabling generation of 100 million jobs in the manufacturing sector, manufacturing competitiveness within the framework of WTO rules, bringing in services sectors like health care, financial and legal services, repair and design services under SEZs.
The Committee was of the opinion that SEZ should now transform into “Employment and Economic Enclaves” (3Es) which will be an integrated ecosystem that focuses on ease of doing business, quality and infrastructure in order to reduce costs.
The group will submit its final report soon.