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Exporters allowed to directly import from 8 SEZs

K.R. Srivats

New Delhi , Feb. 14

EXPORTERS with advance licences or licences under any other duty exemption scheme can now directly import (procure inputs) from eight specified special economic zones (SEZs) on the strength of their licences without having to furnish advance release orders (AROs).

The Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has now declared the SEZs at Santacruz, Kandla, Kochi, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai, FALTA, Surat, and Noida as specified ports of registration for import and exports under the exim procedures.

A senior official from the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said that exporters with advance licences were hitherto required to furnish AROs for procuring inputs from these SEZs. The ARO is an instrument that enables domestic procurement of inputs without payment of duty.

Currently, all the eight EPZs converted into SEZs are functional. In addition, three new SEZs approved for establishment at Indore, Jaipur and Kolkata recently commenced operations. Exports from SEZs during 2003-04 registered a growth of 44 per cent in dollar terns to touch $2,996 million (Rs 13,854 crore) against export level of $2,079 million (Rs 10,057 crore) during the previous year.

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