The provisions of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) have been made applicable to Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Developers and Units with effect from 1st April, 2012. The SEZ sector has seen a sharp slowdown due to a number of reasons including withdrawal of exemption from MAT and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) provisions, uncertain fiscal regime for SEZs, global slowdown in exports etc.

The number of applications for denotification of SEZs has shown a significant increase in the last two financial years and the trend is continuing in the current financial year also with 40 of the total 52 de-notifications of SEZs having been approved in Financial Years 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 (upto 23.11.2012). Similarly, the number of new SEZs set up in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 (as on 23.11.2012) has been 16, 9 and 3 respectively.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Dr. D. Purandeswari in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

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