No new SEZ policy in budget a missed opportunity: Nasscom

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 06, 2019 10:52 hrs
A security guard stands at the venue of National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) India Leadership Forum in Mumbai

Bengaluru: The absence of a new Special Economic Zones (SEZ) policy in the Union Budget for fiscal 2019-20 is a missed opportunity, said Indian IT industry apex body Nasscom on Friday.

"One key exclusion in the Budget is a new policy for SEZ as its benefits end in March 2020. If they (benefits) are not extended, India will miss the opportunity even as other countries continue to provide benefits to their enterprises," said Nasscom in a statement.

Noting that the Economic Survey for the fiscal had stressed on the need to focus on large firms to achieve the $5-trillion dream, the industry's representative body said the budget had fallen short on renewing the SEZ policy.

"In our pre-budget recommendations, the industry's demand to the finance ministry was a proactive SEZ policy to strengthen our country's position as a global hub for IT services," said the statement.

As the resilient IT-BPM (business process management) sector contributes 7.9 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creates a whopping 40 lakh jobs, the apex body said lack of incentives would impact the country's image as an attractive destination for outsourcing IT services.

The Economic Survey for fiscal 2018-19, tabled in Parliament on Thursday, estimated the IT-BPM revenue to be $181 billion, including $136 billion from exports for the fiscal under review, as against $167 billion, with exports at $126 billion in fiscal 2017-18.

"IT services constitute the largest segment, with 52 per cent share, followed by BPM contributing 20 per cent, while software products and engineering services accounted for 19 per cent, hardware 10 per cent and e-commerce 12 per cent," said the survey.