New Delhi: The commerce and industry ministry on Thursday held a meeting with special economic zone (SEZ) players and discussed ways to further promote growth of the sector, an official said. The meeting took up certain suggestions from Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani-led committee on SEZ that are not yet implemented, the official said.

One of the members of this committee, Srikanth Badiga, said issues related to further improving ease of doing business for these zones were also discussed.

The industry demand to extend the direct tax incentives to SEZ units beyond March 31 also figured in the meeting.

In the Budget 2016-17, the government had stated that income tax benefits to new SEZ units would be available to only those units that commence activity before March 31, 2020.

Units in SEZs enjoy 100 per cent income tax exemption on export income for the first five years, 50 per cent for the next five years thereafter and 50 per cent of the ploughed-back export profit for another five years.

SEZs, which emerged as major export hubs in the country, started losing their sheen after the imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax and introduction of sunset clause, according to the industry.

Exports from these zones stood at over Rs 7 lakh crore in 2018-19.

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