How it began
Since 1991, a series of measures have been taken by the Government of India to liberalize trade and formulate industrial policies for the promotion of exports. The Government did this by promoting Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country. These zones were promoted with the view to provide businesses attractive tax holidays, more control over infrastructure and less regulation.
It then also became apparent that factors like India's growing educated English speaking work force, lower labour costs and relatively cheaper property prices would ensure that businesses flourish, paving the way for the economic prosperity.
This led the Government to introduce a new Special Economic Zone scheme in the EXIM Policy of 2000. This policy intends to make SEZs an engine for economic growth, supported by quality infrastructure and complemented by an attractive fiscal
package - both at the Central and State levels - with the minimum possible regulations.
The Special Economic Zones Policy was passed in May 2005. This Policy, supported by the SEZ rules came into effect in February 2006. Till date, over 453 SEZs have been granted approval and 207 SEZs have been notified by the Government.