Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 301
India’s SEZ Policy – A Retrospective Analysis
Malini L Tantri
This paper provides a critical review of India’s SEZ policy over the last five decades (1960 to 2010). The analysis reveals that some of the major factors that contribute to the poor performance of EPZs were the loopholes in the policy structure of the country of the pre-reform period. Specifically, the supply side factors were not strongly developed to meet the standards of the growing international market. At the outset, the imitation of the Chinese model of trade policy in the country appears to be an improvement compared to conventional EPZs. Thereby, it fulfills the promise of promoting qualitative transformation of EPZs. Despite the numerous advantages in its favour, the SEZ policy in India needs a pragmatic re-visit. The most important argument in its favour stems from the various flaws in the policy formulation and execution, which is in conflict with other development objectives of the economy and calls for policy revision.