Shubhangi Khapre:SEZs were the mainstay of the last industrial policy. Where did the government fail?
BG:The SEZ subject is based on the premise of creating an entirely new entity meant to promote exports, brought to make industry more competitive. It was perceived as “anti-farmer”. Maharashtra had started 144 SEZs. In the meantime, due to opposition, the Centre introduced tax changes and imposed minimum alternate tax and dividend distribution tax on SEZ companies. Though the SEZ concept remained, it became non-viable. The question arose what to do with the land locked in SEZs, whether it can be put to good industrial use. The new industrial policy provides an option.