Parsvnath to axe six SEZ projects due to tax uncertainties

Parsvnath has requested for withdrawal of in-principle approval, citing economic (in the realty market) slowdown, Direct Tax Code and imposition of MAT as the reason for the same, the commerce ministry said

New Delhi: Several realty firms, including Parsvnath, have sought the government's nod to shelve their special economic zone (SEZ) projects amid continued tax uncertainties, reports PTI.

Among others, Parsvnath SEZ-a Parsvnath Group subsidiary-has offered to surrender six SEZs in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra that had earlier been granted in-principle approval by the government.

"The developer has requested for withdrawal of in-principle approval, citing economic (in the realty market) slowdown, Direct Tax Code (DTC), imposition of minimum alternate tax (MAT) as the reason for the same," an official in the commerce ministry said.

Parsvnath's request for pulling out from the SEZ projects and other applications will come up before the inter-ministerial Board of Approval (BoA), which is scheduled to meet on 22nd July.

Besides Parsvnath, other developers that want to exit from their SEZ projects include Juventus Builders and Developers, Alok Infrastructure, Oval Developers, Airmid Developers and NG Realty.

Parsvnath had got in-principle approval for leather and handicrafts SEZs at Agra and Moradabad, respectively, a gems and jewellery tax-free zone in Jaipur, a food processing SEZ in Sonepat, an auto component zone in Pune and a multi-product SEZ in Kanceepuram.

The draft DTC has proposed withdrawal of exemptions for new units that come up after the tax code is implemented and replacement of tax exemption on profits for developers with sops on investments.

The DTC is expected to be implemented from the next fiscal.

The industry has also expressed concern over the imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) of 18.5% on the book profits of SEZ developers and units.

Under the SEZ Act, SEZ units get 100% tax exemption on profits earned for the first five years, a 50% exemption for the next five years and another 50% exemption on re-invested profits in the following five years.

SEZ developers, on the other hand, get 100% tax exemption on profits for ten years, which they can choose in the block of the first fifteen years.

Five developers have approached the BoA to de-notify their tax-free enclaves.

In addition, as many as 45 SEZ developers, including Raheja SEZ, Navi Mumbai and GP Realtors, have sought more time to execute their projects.

SEZs in India have emerged as manufacturing and export bases.

Meanwhile, two developers-Radiant Corporation and Anique Infrastructure-have requested permission to set up new tax-free enclaves in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, respectively.

Exports from SEZs increased by 43% to Rs3,15,868 crore in 2010-11 vis-à-vis the same period of the previous fiscal. A total of 6.76 crore jobs were also generated.

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PFC to raise Rs22,000 crore from infra, tax-free bonds

PFC has received approval to raise Rs5,000 crore through tax-free bonds, Rs7,000 crore through infrastructure bonds and the remaining Rs11,000 crore from another bond issue or ECBs

State-run lending agency Power Finance Corporation (PFC) plans to raise over Rs22,000 crore through infrastructure and tax-free bond issues during the current financial year (2011-12) to part fund its borrowing requirements.

PFC has received approval from the government to raise Rs5,000 crore through tax-free bonds and Rs7,000 crore through infrastructure bonds during the fiscal and the remaining Rs11,000 crore may come from another bond issue or external commercial borrowings (ECBs).

The company's borrowing target in the previous fiscal (2010-11) was Rs 27,000 crore.

PFC, which has so far allotted three independent transmission projects (ITPs) to successful bidders, will finalise two more such projects this financial year (2011-12).

PFC gained 2.65% to close at Rs216.85 per share on the BSE today

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Polaris, Bangladesh banks to enter JV for IT solutions

The JV firm will provide end-to-end intellect core banking solution that would allow the banks to run a single application for its different functions, thereby facilitating easy operations to its customers

IT firm Polaris Software has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two Bangladesh-based banks to form a joint venture company, which will provide software solutions to both the financial institutions.

Polaris Software, Sonali Bank and Bangladesh Commerce Bank have signed a MoU to form a joint venture (JV) company-Sonali Polaris Financial Technology-in which the IT firm will hold a 51% stake, Polaris Software said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The JV firm will provide end-to-end intellect core banking solution that would allow the banks to run a single application for its different functions, thereby facilitating easy operations to its customers.

"The Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector in Bangladesh is all set to undergo a major overhaul.

Through this JV, we will be able to offer quality service in the rapidly emerging financial marketplace," Bangladesh Commerce Bank managing director SA Choudhary said.

Sonali Bank is the largest state-owned commercial bank in Bangladesh with 1,188 branches and operations in UK, the US, Middle East and India, the filing added.

Bangladesh Commerce Bank is a commercial bank with private-partnership, it said.

Shares of Polaris Software settled at Rs173 apiece on the BSE, down 0.03% from its previous close.

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