The government has forgone Rs 56,418 crore tax during the first nine months of the last fiscal pertaining to special economic zones, Parliament was informed today.
In the entire 2015-16, these zones had received duty exemptions worth Rs 52,216 crore, according to the data given by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. She said exports from these zones stood at Rs 3.58 lakh crore during the April-December period of 2016-17, ended March 31. In the entire financial year 2015-16, the exports had amounted to Rs 4,67,337 crore.
She said that as on date, 109 SEZs developers have sought cancellation of their projects in some states as the developers have found the projects economically unviable in the changed economic situation.
As many as 28 zones were cancelled in Maharashtra, followed by 14 in Telengana and 10 in Tamil Nadu.
SEZs enjoy certain tax benefits including 100 per cent income tax exemption on export income for the first five years and 50 per cent for the next five years.
Replying to a separate question, she said the government continues to engage the US and the UK administration for better access of its IT professionals in these countries.
"India has also taken up the matter on US visa fee hike in the dispute settlement body of the WTO," she said.
To a separate question on meat exports, the minister said during April-January last fiscal, meat exports stood at Rs 22,074 crore.
The exports had aggregated at Rs 27,610 crore in 2015-16.
As per the current foreign trade policy, she said all export oriented meat processing establishments are required to be registered with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
As many as 81 companies or firms are engaged in meat processing and its exports in the country.