As a major relief to the infotech sector, the government has decided to extend the income tax benefit to the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) for one more year till March-end 2010. A formal announcement towards this end is expected soon.
The tax benefits have given a huge boost to exports from EOUs and STPI. Exports from EOUs have already crossed Rs 1,25,000 crore mark in 2007-08. According to a commerce ministry official, the exports from STPI have also touched Rs 50,000 crore. Therefore, the source said both schemes are important for attaining a high export growth. He said SEZ is a new scheme, which replaces both EOUs and STPI schemes. But, for the existing companies operating under the EOUs and STPI schemes, the extension of the tax break is important. However, in the future, SEZs will be used as vehicles for industrialization and employment generation in the country. Nath said so far government has granted 453 formal approvals for setting up SEZs. He said SEZs currently provide employment to over 2.80 lakh people.