Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said the government is looking at easing certain restrictions for units in the special economic zones (SEZ) to promote the sector's growth.
SEZs in India are treated as foreign territories for trade and customs duties, with restrictions on duty-free domestic sales.
"We are looking at ways and means to liberalise some of these restrictions on SEZ units. It's under consideration...We are discussing it with all the stakeholders and hopefully that itself will give a significant boost to the SEZ units," Goyal said here at an industry chamber function.
Regarding the industry's demand to extend benefits of the Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) Scheme to SEZs, he said the ministry will go about it "cautiously".
"At some point in time we will consider it once we are very confident that it will not lead to WTO non-compliance," he added.
In these zones, the largest areas of exports are petroleum products and software.
Companies in SEZs are urging the government to permit them to sell their products in domestic tariff areas or domestic markets without paying the import duties that currently apply, similar to duty-free FTA imports.
SEZs have emerged as an important contributor to India's exports. Total exports from SEZs stood at USD 155.8 billion in 2022-23. These included USD 61.6 billion in merchandise and USD 94.2 billion in services exports.