RBI has vide its notification dated 5th November 2015 given relaxation to software exporters in filing of bulk SOFTEX forms. Hitherto only software exporters whose annual turnover exceeded Rs.1000 crores were given this facility, but this has been extended to all software exporters. The gist of the RBI circular is given below:
Attention of Authorised Dealers is invited to A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 80 dated February 15, 2012, A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 66 dated January 01, 2013and A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 43 dated September 13, 2013, in terms of which a software exporter, whose annual turnover is at least Rs.1000 crore or who files at least 600 SOFTEX forms annually on an all India basis, is eligible to declare all the off-site software exports in bulk in the form of a statement in excel format, to the competent authority for certification on monthly basis.
2. In order to provide benefits to small exporters also, it has been decided to extend this facility to all software exporters. Accordingly, all software exporters can now file single as well as bulk SOFTEX form in excel format to the competent authority for certification. The SOFTEX form is given at Annex I. Since the SOFTEX data from STPI/SEZ is being transmitted in electronic format to RBI, the exporters are required to submit the SOFTEX form in duplicate as per the revised procedure. STPI/SEZ will retain one copy and handover the duplicate copy to the exporters after due certification.
3. As hitherto, the software exporters can generate SOFTEX form number (single as well as bulk) for use in off-site software exports from the websitewww.rbi.org.in. In order to generate the SOFTEX number/s, the applicant exporter has to fill-in the online form (Path www.rbi.org.in ⇒ Forms⇒ FEMA Forms⇒ Printing EDF/SOFTEX Form No.). The specimen of the online form and the advice are given at Annex II.
4. The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA),1999 requires exporters to complete the SOFTEX form using the number so allotted and submit it first to the competent authority for certification and then to the AD for further necessary action, as hitherto.
Govt. has issued a gazette notification dated 2nd January 2015 amending the Special Economic Zone Rules 2006. Rule 11A has been inserted which reads as follows:
“1IA. Bifurcation of non-processing area: The non-processing area can be bifurcated into two parts,
(1) Where the social or commercial infrastructure and other facilities are permitted to be used by both the Special Economic.Zone and Domestic Tariff Area entities: No exemptions, concessions or drawback shall be admissible for creation of such infrastructure. The Customs duty, Central Excise duty, Service Tax, and such other Central levies and tax benefits already availed for creation of such infrastructure shall be refunded by the Developer in full, without interest. However, in cases of short payment of the amount refundable to the Government on account of dual use permission, interest will have to be paid at the rate of fifteen per cent per annum from the day the said amount becomes payable to the date of actual payment. Utilisation of SEZ land shall be subject to following conditions:
(a) the land is to be put to only such use which is as per the regulations of the concerned State Government or local bodies;
(b) if any exemption or refund has been taken from State or local taxes like stamp duty, change of land uses, etc., the same shall be refunded back to State Government or local authorities and a certificate to this effect shall be produced from the concerned authorities;
(c) No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the concerned State Government shall be produced before. the consideration of the request by Board of Approval (BoA). State Government may issue NoObjection Certificate (NOC) taking into consideration (a) and (b) above.
(2) Where the social or commercial infrastructure and other facilities are permitted to be used only by Special Economic Zone entities: This portion shall be bonded and physically segregated from the Domestic Tariff Area, non-processing area, specified at (I) above and the processing area of the Special Economic Zone. The infrastructure, as may be approved by the Board, for this part of nonprocessing area shall be eligible for exemptions, concessions and drawback.
(3) The Department of Commerce has provided the following norms with respect to areas to be
earmarked for residential, commercial and other social facilities:-
(a) The Developer or Co-developer shall submit an application in the format as specified by the Central Government to the Development Commissioner indicating therein the portion of the non-processing area where social or commercial infrastructure and other facilities are proposed to be used by both Special Economic Zone and Domestic Tariff Area entities and the said application shall be accompanied with a copy of the Infrastructure Plan and No Objection Certificate from the concerned State Government and supporting documents.
(b) The Development Commissioner shall forward the said application to the Board of Approval (BoA) for approval.
(c) The area restrictions for duty paid dual use non processing area in the Special Economic Zones shall be as follows:
(i) Housing ‘”not more than twenty five per cent of non-processing area;
(ii) Commercial- not more than tenper cent of non-processing area;
(iii) Open area and circulation area-not less than forty five per cent of nonprocessing area;
(iv) Social and institutional infrastructure including schools, colleges, sociocultural • centres, training institutes, banks, post office, etc., in the remaining area.
(d) Floor Area Ratio or Floor Space Index shall conform to the norms of the concerned local authorities.
(e) No sale shall be permitted of such duty paid dual use infrastructure in the non-processing area and only lease hold rights can devolve upon the users Of transferees of the said dual use duty paid infrastructure in Non Processing Area of Special Economic Zones; and
(f) any other conditions as may be specified by the Department of Commerce or Board of Approval.