With as many as 14 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) on the anvil in Orissa, the third supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy is expected to give the export sector in the state a much needed boost.

The state’s export earnings stand close to Rs 9,000 crore, with the bulk of it coming from minerals and metals. The FTP offers sops to SEZ investors through duty exemption and other schemes. Though it holds hope for the state, experts feel Orissa would gain only if SEZs go on stream on time.
"It depends how the Government of Orissa works towards establishment of the SEZs. It has to expedite the land acquisition process. If these zones come up within the policy period and start exporting, the state will stand to gain substantially," president of Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry M.V. Rao said.

With the State Government targeting software exports worth Rs 2,500 crore in the next five years, incentives for SEZs may have come just in time because three out of five SEZs for which formal approval has been accorded are in IT/ITES and knowledge sectors. "The exemption from service tax on goods and services exported from India, services received and rendered abroad will not only give a big fillip to exports but also prompt more companies to head for Orissa in view of the favourable conditions," a top official of a software firm said.
However, marine exporters are not that upbeat about the new policy despite the fact that the duty entitlement passbook (DEPB) scheme has been extended by one more year.
The annual marine exports from Orissa are to the tune of Rs 400 crore but the sector has stagnated over the past few years. "The incentives go to the producers whereas exporters will not get any additional benefit," said Tara Ranjan Patnaik, chairman of Falcon Marine Exports.
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