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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 24 (ANI): Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) in Mumbai can be made 'world-class' with a public-private partnership scheme, said Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Thursday.
Goyal on Thursday visited SEEPZ as part of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Saptah' being celebrated by his Ministry.
"I am confident that with everyone's cooperation, SEEPZ can be made modern and world-class. We can think of a public-private partnership scheme whereby industry units who revamp their properties can be given exemption from rent revision for 10 years," said the Union Minister while addressing the exporters and trade partners in Mumbai.
Stating that the SEEPZ established in 1973, initially to promote electronics manufacturing in India, needs a complete makeover, Goyal said "Let's aim for transformational change and not incremental change. Let's bring back the vibrancy into SEEPZ like the earlier years."
Speaking at the event, he urged the exporters based at SEEPZ to collectively decide about making the Common Services Centre operational and revamping the SEEPZ premises and transforming some centres here into swanky new state-of-the-art centre for serving international customers. The Minister also suggested that India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) could have a 30,000 - 40,000 sq. ft. Exhibition Complex at SEEPZ to facilitate buyer-seller meets.
Citing the example of Surat Diamond Bourse, he urged SEEPZ to take help in terms of facilitation for this work. The Minister also cited the example of Rs 4,000 crore makeover of Pragati Maidan in Delhi. Goyal said the Centre has already announced Rs 200 crore aid for internal expansion and refurbishment of one of India's oldest Export Processing Zones.
The Minister further said, "We are doing partial de-recognition of SEZs, we have liberalised a number of rules already, we have now allowed everyone to be multi-sectoral including SEEPZ. We are also discussing how the SEZs can play a more important role in the Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) through an equilisation levy". The Minister said that we should be looking at USD 30 billion export from SEEPZ.
The Minister also stated that many of the issues raised by exporters, like permission to allow e-commerce seamlessly for artificial jewellery upto 800 dollars, are under consideration by High Powered Committees. Shri Goyal said he is "fighting hard" for the gem and jewellery sector to get a five per cent duty concession which they are currently charged in UAE, as part of Early Harvest Agreement. The Minister also stated that more Free Trade Agreements are being finalized with UK, UAE, Australia and EU, to try and provide more market access to exporters.
The Ministry in an official statement said that all 739 districts of the country are celebrating Vanijya Saptah from September 20-26 this year, as part of 'Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav', with more than 250 programmes organized across the country.
Goyal complimented all exporters and stakeholders for their support in making international trade simpler, grow faster, seamless and become an engine of growth for our economy in the years to come. (ANI)