The Export Promotion Council for the EOUs and SEZs (EPCES) on Sunday urged the Ministry of Commerce to allow the units to sell goods at reduced import duty rates on the domestic market because of national foreclosure and the cancellation of orders could have an impact on jobs.
SEZs are treated as foreign territory in terms of customs laws. They are developed as exclusive export zones. The sale of goods by these manufacturing units on the domestic market or outside of these areas is treated as imports and, therefore, the units must pay the full import duty.
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“In this time of crisis, we have asked the Ministry of Commerce to allow SEZs to be allowed to sell their product on the domestic market at the reduced rate of basic customs duty for at least one year. This will help them use their capacity and necessary to save their employees and break even, “said vice president of the Export Promotion Council for SEZs and EOUs, Bhuvnesh Seth.
He said that during the foreclosure, the board also asked for permission to resume work with minimum staff to fulfill export orders, as exporters will lose customers to China or other Asian countries.
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Seth said that due to the blockage and huge cancellation of export orders, “the job reduction will be around 50%”. He added that the liquidity crisis will not allow the zones to pay wages for April.
Export-oriented units and SEZs provide direct employment to more than 25 lakh and have attracted investment of more than Rs 5.50 lakh crore, he said.
“It has contributed 7.87 billion rupees to India’s export basket, which accounts for a third of total national exports,” he added.