CHENNAI: The Covid pandemic shru-nk the share of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in gold jewellery exports from 57 per cent in 2019 to 11 per cent in 2021. The government is planning to introduce a new bill, Development of Enterp-rise and Services Hub Bill 2022 to improve economic activity of SEZs.
India’s gold jewellery exports have grown over the years, rising from $7.6 billion in 2015 to $12.4 billion in 2019. The Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Act introduced in 2005 has played a key role in boosting India’s exports over the last two decades. Gold jewellery exports through SEZs grew from just 23 per cent in 2015 to 57 per cent in 2019, according to the World Gold Council.
However, the pandemic negatively impacted jewellery fabrication and by 2021 the share of exports via SEZs had collapsed to 11 per cent. This drop can also be attributed, in part, to the withdrawal of income-tax exemption that SEZs enjoyed for nearly two decades and ended in 2020.
However, the government is considering the introduction of a new SEZ policy, which should ease the export process.
With the proposed draft — the Development of Enter-prise and Services Hub Bill 2022, or DESH Bill, the government inte-nds to go beyond export-oriented manufacturing and focus on boosting additional economic activity, generating employment, and integrating various industrial hubs....