In view of the sudden outbreak of COVID‐19 pandemic and the nation-wide lockdown, the Department of Commerce on 30 March 2020, provided certain relaxations on compliances to be met by units / developers / co‐developers of Special Economic Zones (“SEZs”). Such compliances to which the relaxations will apply, includes:
- Requirement to file Quarterly Progress Report (QPR) attested by Independent Chartered Engineers by Developers/ Co‐developers;
- SOFTEX form to be filed by IT/ITES units;
- Filing of Annual Performance Reports (APR) by SEZ units;
- Extension of Letter of Approvals (LoA) which may expire, in the cases of:
a) Developers/co‐developers who are in the process of developing and operationalising the SEZ;
b) Units which are likely to complete their 5 years block for NFE assessment;
c) Units which are yet to commence operations.
The Development Commissioners of SEZs has been directed to ensure that in cases where any compliance is not met during this period impacted by the above disruption, no hardship is caused to Developers / Co‐Developer / Units and no punitive action is taken.
Further, as may be possible, all extensions of LoAs and other compliances may be facilitated through electronic mode in a time‐bound manner. In the cases where it is not possible to grant extension through electronic mode or in cases where a physical meeting is required, the Development Commissioners has been asked to ensure that the Developer / Co‐developer / Units do not face any hardship due to such expiry of validity during this period of disruption. Ad‐hoc interim extension / deferment of the expiry date may be granted without prejudice till 30 June 2020 or further instructions of the Department on the matter, whichever is earlier.