The government has decided to set up a grievance redressal mechanism for SEZ developers and units with a view to expeditiously address their problems and boost exports.

The Commerce Ministry is working with Export Promotion Council for EOUs (Export Oriented Units) and SEZs (Special Economic Zones) to prepare ‘EPCES Online’ system for the purpose.

“We are targeting to launch the system by mid-December. The main objective is to provide a platform to SEZ developers and units where they can post their operational grievances which would be addressed in a shortest possible time,” said Sanjeet Singh, a director in the Commerce Ministry. He is also the Director General of EPCES.

The Commerce Ministry would start test runs for the system. Grievances pertaining to any department such as environment or any state government could be posted on the system.

“We will forward the problems to related departments and will follow and chase them to get the solutions as early as possible. It would help in reducing transactions cost and boost exports and manufacturing from these zones,” he added.

He hoped that through this method, most of the issues would be sorted out soon.

“It will be a single window grievance redressal system,” Mr. Singh said, adding that after successfully operationalising this system, the Ministry would start working on the second phase of the project where policy related matters could be discussed online.

According to an official, the Commerce Ministry is getting one or other complaints on daily basis.

Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which emerged as major export hubs and investment destinations started losing sheen after the global economic crisis and imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax.

Exports from these zones declined by 4.1 per cent during the first quarter of the current fiscal.

The government is taking steps to revive interest of investors for SEZs. Recently, it had unveiled a package of reforms including easing of land norms to revive investments in SEZs.

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