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DEPB benefits restored for SEZ units

Our Bureau

New Delhi , April 7

THE Revenue Department has withdrawn its circular of February 2004 banning the benefits of Duty Entitlement Passbook (DEPB) credit for supply of goods to special economic zones (SEZs) as physical exports and clarified that the supply of goods to SEZs during the period April 1, 2003 to May 11, 2004, should also be entitled for DEPB benefits.

According to a statement issued here by the Director General of the Export Promotion Council for export oriented units, and SEZ units, Mr L.B. Singhal, it may be recalled that the Exim Policy in 2003-04 had stated that the supply of goods to SEZs should be treated as physical exports and would accordingly be entitled for DEPB benefits.

This was also endorsed by the Revenue Department. But subsequently, the department issued a circular in February 2004 stating that supplies are not entitled for DEPB benefits.

The council took up the issue with the department, which recently resolved the same by withdrawing its mid-course circular issued in February 2004 by clarifying that supplies affected during 2003-04 should also be eligible for DEPB benefits.

Mr Singhal said that for providing stability to the SEZ scheme and to avoid this sort of inconvenience in future, it is absolutely important that the SEZ Act is enacted at the earliest.

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