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The government gave in-principle approval to DLF on Tuesday to withdraw four of its IT, ITES special economic zones, which the realty major did not want to build in the face of slowdown in the real estate business.

However, the board of approval in the commerce ministry asked the DLF to return all the tax sops it had taken from the Centre before its SEZs in Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa and Haryana could be denotified.

The BoA, headed by commerce secretary G K Pillai, also allowed more time to the K Raheja group to build its tax-free zones in Goa, Hyderabad and Navi Mumbai, an official said.

“DLF will be giving back all the duties and the department of revenue, customs (authorities) and development commissioners would ensure that the duties have been refunded,” the official said. The SEZs enjoy a slew of tax sops under the law.

Faced with demand slowdown, real estate firms are facing a cash crunch.

The DLF promoters had sold on May 13 close to a 10 per cent stake in the company to raise Rs 3,860 crore (Rs 38.6 billion) for clearing debt.

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