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GIFT CITY- Financial & Technology Gateway of India

GIFT CITY- Financial & Technology Gateway of India

Gujarat (GIFT City) is a central business district that is under construction and located in the Gandhinagar district of Gujrat. It is also known as India’s first operational Greenfield smart city and International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), which was initiated and promoted by the government of Gujrat. In the year 2020, GIFT City ranked 10th place in the finance industry and secured the top rank in the world as an emerging financial centre in a global financial centre index. It is India’s first smart city operational to be at par with the other global financial hubs, i.e. London, Shanghai, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, etc. The purpose is to create a smart city with a financial hub and focus on gaining foreign capital through tax incentives. The GIFT city is situated on the banks of the Sabarmati River, which is approx. 12 km away from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport and designed in a way where residents can walk to work, including commercial, financial, and residential buildings. It is connected with 4-6 lane state and national highways, and a metro rail facility is also planned to be developed and completed by 2024 in the city, which will more likely develop connectivity between GIFT City and the Ahmedabad Metro network. The area of GIFT City is around 886 acres, which includes the special economic zone measuring 261 acres in it. This will further be classified into SEZ areas and Non-SEZ areas, commonly known as Domestic Tariff areas (DTA). As of June 2023, 23 multinational banks such as HSBC, JP Morgan, and Barclays with 35 fintech companies, two international stock exchanges with a daily trade average of $30.6 billion, and the first international Indian bullion exchange along with 75 onboarded jewellers businesses. IFSC is more likely to increase and transform into real-time growth in the quantum of investment and business activities. In GIFT City, a large number of banks, alternative investment funds, financial intermediaries, insurance companies, and aircraft leasing companies are lining up to establish their business. With the innovative and latest technological development, GIFT City plays an important role in the development of financial sectors, including fintech and, cryptocurrency, etc.

Importance of IFSCs

IFSC plays an important role in terms of their services and products rendered within the financial sector. IFSC are more likely to bring numerous advantages for the respective host country, such as banking services, asset management, stock marketing, and other intermediary financial services offered to attract a huge amount of capital inflow within IFSC. The MNCs enrolling in IFSC and establishing their businesses in the host country come with more advanced international standards and norms with more skilled and experienced working staff. Definitely, the host country is in the position to enhance its own capital account convertibility and possess greater control over the financial instruments and is seated in the position to set prices for important commodities, mobilize funds, and enhance a diversified portfolio and business strategies. UK, USA, and China have effectively used the IFSC and significantly built themselves a financial hub in the world.  

Why India Needs for IFSC

It is evident in Indian history that the Indian economy is affected badly by the lack of an IFC, as the huge volume of Indian currency and commodities could take place within India rather than in other countries’ destinations. India depends upon overseas financial services and foreign funds to maintain its account deficit, which results in an outward flow of capital and remittances. It was recorded in the year 2015 that approx. USD $50 billion on an annual basis, India loses just because of the high volume of financial transactions, currency, trading, and financial services as it is availed from overseas transactions. This made India develop a financial hub such as IFSC. India is a populated country with a young, skilled population, workforce, and robust economy with a healthy and developed domestic market. India’s strategic location sits in the middle of important sea lanes stretching from the Suez Canal to the straits of Malacca, and the recent development seen in transport, communication, governance, and regulatory regimes and ease of business has impacted the global prospects regarding India for investments. Thus, India is a more attractive and suitable destination for global finance.

Journey and the development of Gift City till yet

2007

In Feb 2007, an expert committee report on “Making Mumbai as IFSC” was submitted, and the Ministry of Finance formed the committee. The committee has phased a specific action plan to develop Mumbai as an IFSC. Meanwhile, at the same time, the idea of a GIFT city emerged in Gujrat at the Global Investor Summit of 2007 The government of Gujarat has announced an ambitious plan to lay out a world-class, developed financial and business district within Gujarat. The GIFT city proposed to be developed as equivalent to Singapore, Shanghai, and Dubai, with an intent to serve as a global financial hub. In spite of Mumbai as far more developed and bigger than Gujarat, the GIFT City is chosen to be constructed in Gujrat. Then, the construction of GIFT City started. 

2008

The government of Gujarat has started the process to acquire land to develop the GIFT city project and acquired approx. 886 acres of land near Gandhinagar. Further, the project for GIFT City received approval from the Union cabinet and marks its formal beginning.

2009

A special Economic Zone area is specified within the GIFT city.

2010

The first phase of construction of the GIFT city project includes basic infrastructure developments, including roads, water supply, drainage, and sewage systems. The First tower, known as GIFT, is a 29-story building constructed by IL&FS group, which serves as an official quarter for several financial companies.

2011

On 15 December 2011, the Economic Times reported that officials of GIFT City are invited Singapore companies to join and open their offices so as to expand their business but unable to do so due to a lack of land in Singapore. Bank investments, private equity and insurance companies, and assets management companies considered. Meanwhile, in the same month, the Times of India reported that Chinese giant Huawei is going to offer its technology in GIFT City, including the networks, data, and surveillance facilities.

2012

Now, the first phase has been completed, including the basic infrastructures, and the GIFT one tower is built to commence operations. The Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, inaugurated GIFT City, and the Bank of Baroda was the one who started its operation in GIFT City.

2013

The second phase of construction started in the GIFT City project to develop more corporate building offices, residential apartments, and social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, and retail areas. The government has marked the GIFT SEZ (special economic zone) area that offers companies to enjoy tax and other business benefits.

2014

The government of India has selected GIFT City as a smart city under the smart cities development mission.

Incidents reported in 2014 by NetIndia that a new World Trade Centre was going to be set up in India according to the agreement made between the World Trade Centre India Services Council (WTCS) and GIFT City Limited. BSE Broker’s Forum allotted a space of 28,000 sq. meters to develop and establish an exchange tower and planned to invest INR 1.2 billion to 1.7 billion.  

2015

The second phase of development is completed; now, the first IFSC( International Financial Services Centre) tower, known as GIFT two, was inaugurated having 28 story building built by the IL&FS group, and the construction of GIFT city’s first data centre is also completed. Meanwhile, the government announced the IFSC Regulations in the month of April 2015.

2016

In India, the first Indian International exchange commenced its operation, and the government of India introduced the competitive Tax Regime in the month of June 2016.

2017

The third phase of construction begins to develop, including more office space, residential apartments, and social infrastructure, including parks and open outlets. The government has approved the GIFT SEZ, which facilitates corporates to enjoy more benefits and incentives. The Company Law exemptions provided in January 2017 are more likely to offer more benefits to corporate houses. The International Dispute Resolution Mechanism in Singapore established its International Arbitration Centre office at GIFT City in the month of August 2017.

2018

The Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, made an announcement in the 2018 budget to set up a unified authority to regulate the whole financial services functioning of IFSC to enhance better regulation and supervision among financial entities in the month of FEB 2018.

2019

The Loksabha, in the year of 2019, passed a bill to establish a unified regulatory authority for financial services in IFSC through the IFSC Authority Act 2019 and mentioned it as a single window for regulation.

2020

The Finance Minister, in her Budget speech in 2020, announced the approval of the regulator to set up an International Bullion Exchange in the GIFT IFSC, and the government has taken necessary steps to notify bullion spot trading and bullion depository receipts underlying bullion as financial product and bullion-related services as financial services in IFSC during August 31, 2020.

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2021

The fourth phase of construction, the final phase, begins to be constructed in the GIFT City project, including the entertainment zone, convention centre, and other residential towers. In the same year, the project was awarded by the National Institute of Urban Affairs as ‘Smart City of the Year’, depending upon the innovative use of advanced technology in the city development and its planning.

2023

Global search engine Google is going to open a global Fintech operational centre in GIFT City, and SGX Nifty, renamed GIFT Nifty, commenced its trading business from GIFT City on 3rd July 2023, resulting in a collaboration of Singapore Exchange and NSE India.

What is a Gift Special Economic Zone (SEZ)?

SEZ is primarily focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and enhancing the economy with the export of products and services so as to find suitable space in the global market. Special economic zones are definite and specified areas where financial units may be established to achieve a specific purpose related to manufacturing, trading, and rendering services to offer warehousing facilities for export purposes. SEZs are likely to be treated and known as foreign territory used for trade operations, duties, and tariffs, which means the goods and services offered or served in SEZ are treated like exports while the goods and services that come out from SEZ are treated as import vice-versa. SEZ facilitates an easy approach to accessing global trading hubs and enhances the flow of capital, goods movement, and economy of scale; all these are equally important to boost the success of SEZ. SEZ provides a large space and well-built advanced innovated infrastructure having wide space, power, water supply, and transportation along with housing facilities available.  

SEZs are more likely to benefit the economy in different ways, such as being capable of generating additional economic activities, encouraging the number of goods and services exported, encouraging investment, including foreign and domestic, creating new job opportunities, and developing more infrastructure.

Key Points

  • SEZ is an area designated in Gift City where units can be set up to carry out specific manufacturing and trading activities and provide certain services.
  • It is considered a foreign territory, meaning you must treat the goods and services going into the SEZ as exports & the goods and services coming from the SEZ as imports.
  • An SEZ shall aim to boost the economy by exporting certain goods & services.

SEZ Act 2005, & its Benefits

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries, in 2000, experienced the shortcomings of governance and infrastructure, etc., with an intent to overcome and attract more FDI and introduced the SEZ policy. Moreover, the government passed the SEZ Act 2005, supported by SEZ Rules 2006, which offers a key responsibility for state governments in export promotion and development infrastructure with a simple approval mechanism through constituting the board of approval. The concept of GIFT is based on a global financial and first IT services hub in India designed above par with global benchmarked financial centres, including Shinjuku, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, London Dockyards, etc. Its master plan offers a wide range of SEZ services with IFSC status, domestic finance, and other associated social infrastructure services. GIFT SEZ Limited is pertinent to focus on multiple services SEZ based on financial services and its core objective to develop IFSC in GIFT Multi Services SEZ as – the vision of the government of India to develop India as a dominant economic power hub to facilitate strong development of International financial services within the country. SEZ is likely to implement the government strategy to develop a financial hub in the South Asian sub-continent. To Position the IFSC to be a world-class zone for the long-term provision of service accommodation with high technological, economic, and commercial space.  

SEZ Act offers a wide range of benefits, such as several taxation incentives and other facilities for the SEZ units- They are as follows:-

  • Generation of additional economic activity.
  • Promotion of export of goods and services.
  • Promotion of investment, both foreign and domestic.
  • Creation of employment.
  • Development of infrastructure.

Direct Tax Benefits

Entrepreneurs who operate their business operation in SEZs area easily avail of significant direct tax benefits which are aimed to encourage exports and boost economic growth. Such direct tax benefits facilitate 100% exemption on income export for the first consecutive 5 years of business operations, followed by 50% exemption for the subsequent five years. These exemptions offer SEZ units to keep the primary focus on increasing export activities to boost foreign exchange earnings and make their equal contribution to the country’s economic development.

Indirect Tax Benefits

SEZ offers a wide range of incentives and benefits to boost industrial development and increase exports. Such proposed benefits include the provision for duty-free import or domestic procurement of goods needed for the development, operation, and maintenance of SEZ units. It facilitates those SEZ units operating within the SEZ to import or procure goods with no customs duties and taxes. It helps businesses to be cost-effective and efficient in establishing business and operating their units accordingly. Subsequently, the SEZ units avail exemptions from service tax according to sections 7, 26, and under the 2nd Schedule of the SEZ Act. Such exemption supports business units to relieve the burden of paying service tax for specific services availed within the SEZ limits. SEZ units are being exempted from central sales tax, facilitating streamlined and seamless inter-state trade and eliminating administration complexities. These kinds of incentives promote investments, boost economic growth, and help export-oriented businesses within SEZs.

 Other Benefits

Although the government of India implemented various measures to enhance SEZ and attract more FDI investments within the nation, SEZ units are free and permitted to get engaged in external commercial borrowing ranging to $500 million on an annual basis without having any maturity restrictions. Such initiatives offer SEZ units more flexibility in finance to develop and expand their business activities. Moreover, a single window clearance system is established and eases the process of securing central and state-level approvals for SEZ business projects. It serves SEZ units with a streamline, reducing the hurdles and ensuring a smooth and efficient process to operate business operations and likely to enjoy state VAT tax exemption, stamp duty, and other imposed taxes by the state governments. The government intends to develop port-based chemical parks within SEZ to promote the clustering of chemical-oriented industries, offering them a specialized infrastructure and tax relaxations. The SEZ rules are designed and created to ease the process of developing, operating, and maintaining SEZ, along with establishing the SEZ units and helping them to conduct their business operation in SEZ. The SEZ units are provided with a tax holiday for 15 years starting from the beginning day of the SEZ unit’s business operations, such as manufacturing, production, or services. The tax holiday is structured in a way to offer 100% tax exemption to SEZ units for the first five years, followed by 50% exemption for the next 5 years, and other subsequent 50% exemption is provided for the other five years implied with certain restrictions. The government is taking these measures to develop a suitable environment for investment and business growth within SEZs, engaging both the domestic and International corporate houses.

Areas of Business in Gift City

  1. Banking
  2. Capital Markets
  3. Alternative Investment Fund
  4. Insurance
  5. Aircraft Leasing & Financing
  6. Finance Company
  7. Global Inhouse Centre
  8. Bullion Exchange
  9. Fintech
  10. Ancillary Service
  11. Ship Leasing
  12. Foreign Universities
  13. IT/ITeS Companies
  14. Other Services Business

The entities with an export business of the following services can set up a unit at GIFT SEZ.

  • Trading
  • Warehousing
  • Research and development services

Regulatory framework of GIFT SEZ & IFSC

Regulatory framework of GIFT SEZ & IFSC

Foreign Universities

Foreign universities operating in GIFT IFSC will be exempted from Indian regulations, except IFSCA guidelines will be applicable.

Foreign universities operating in gift cities will have freedom in admissions, entry-level qualifications, examination patterns, fee structure, curriculum, qualifications, and accreditation requirements.

Banking unit (IBU) in IFSC, GIFT City

The banking regulations as International Financial Services Centres Authority (Banking) regulation were notified in the November month of 2020. These new rules will supersede the earlier RBI IBU guidelines.

Setting up a banking unit (IBU) in GIFT city

3. Requirement for License to set up a banking unit (IBU)

  • Indian and foreign banks are required to get a license or form of permission from the IFSC authority to establish a bank unit in the IFSC. A banking unit can be set up in IFSC either in the form of an IFSC banking unit as IBU or an IFSC banking company as IBC. In case the parent bank of a bank unit has already set up its business operation within IFSC, it is free to convert the IBU to an IBC after receiving prior permission from the concerned authority.
  • The application seeking approval from the authority is made according to the specified format and manner prescribed by the authority, and under regulation 3(2), the parent bank is allowed to withdraw the said application seeking approval at any time prior to the grant of license.
  • The application needs to comply with the following ingredients to avail of the license from the IFSC authority to set up a banking unit in the IFSC zone.
  • It is mandatory to furnish a minimum capital requirement of USD 20 million from the end of the parent bank to set up a banking unit (IBU). Such capital needs to be maintained by the parent bank in the same manner duly specified by IFSC.
  • There is a requirement to secure an NOC certificate from the home regulator of the parent bank, mentioning the idea of establishing an IBU or branch of the parent bank in the IFSC zone.
  • Parent banks need to furnish an undertaking to provide financial assistance to such IBU units in case of liquidity.
  • Parent banks are required to comply with another specific requirement as specified by the IFSC authority from time to time.
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 IBC (IFSC banking company)

  • Under regulation 3(A), the parent bank, if required to grant a license from the IFSC authority to operate its unit as IBC ( IFSC banking company), needs to fulfil the same conditions, but the minimum capital requirement for IBC will be USD 50 million.
  •  Parent banks shall provide other level capital, which will be calculated by IFSC authority and thus need to be maintained accordingly.
  • The parent bank is required to secure a NOC from its home regulator seeking permission to open a banking unit in the form of a subsidiary company of the bank.
  • Parent banks need to comply with other conditions if specified by IFSC.

As the IFSC authority considers the seeking application to be fit and proper, most probably grant a certificate to commence the parent bank business operations as IBC or IBU in the IFSC zone. In case the authority is not in the opinion to grant a license to an applicant, it is likely to provide a time period of 30 days and allow the applicant to make a written submission if required.  

PRUDENTIAL REGULATORY Norms for IBU

4. General Prudential Norms

Banking units, including IBU or IBC, are required to comply with the norms and guidelines suggested by the end of the concerned authority from time to time. Banking units operating their business as IBU are required to follow the norms and regulations issued by the home regulator of their parent bank.

5. Liquidity Ratios

Banking units must maintain their liquidity ratio and banking unit operating their business as IBU are required to maintain their liquidity coverage ratio by the parent bank after obtaining permission from the authority.

The Net stable funding ratio is applicable to a banking unit as specified by the authority and must be maintained accordingly, while in the case of IBU, the Net stable ratio should be maintained by the parent bank with permission from the authority.

Capital Ratio

Minimum 8% of regulatory capital to risk-weighted assets or at the percentage specified by the IFSCA.

Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR)

  • To be maintained on a stand-alone basis, as may be determined by IFSCA.
  • Parents of FU may be allowed to carry on behalf of FU on specific approval.

6. Maintenance of Leverage Ratio

Banking units operating their business are required to follow the specific rules as specified by the authority related to leverage ratio on a timely basis.

7. Exposure Ceiling

It is mandatory for banking units to comply with the norms of exposure ceiling as specified on a timely basis.

Exposure Ceiling (EC)

The sum of all the exposures of an FC/ FU to a single counterparty or with the group of connected counterparties shall not exceed 25% of its available eligible capital base without the approval of IFSCA.

8. Reserve Requirements

The liabilities of IBU other than deposits raised by Indian citizens living inside or outside India will be exempted from the cash Reserve ratio as specified by the authority.

The deposit ratio raised by an IBU from individual residents in India or outside will be subject to such reserve ratio specified by the authority.

The IBC is required to maintain such reserve ratio as specified under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, and the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934.

9. Lender of Last Resort

The lender of the last report support is strictly prohibited for banking units.

Permissible Activities

10. Currency to conduct business

Banking units operating businesses are required to commence their business in both foreign currency and INR with the person living inside or outside as specified by the authority from time to time. In case the banking unit is permitted to conduct their business in INR with a person resident or otherwise according to the guideline of authority subject to settlement of the financial transaction in relation to same business be conducted into foreign currencies if specified.

Currency of Operations

  • Freely Convertible Foreign Currency.
  • May be permitted to conduct business transactions denominated in Indian National Rupee as may be specified by IFSCA, subject to settlement of those business transactions in freely convertible foreign currency (FCFC).
  • They can have an INR account from the freely convertible foreign currency (CFC) to defray their administrative & statutory expenses.

Source of Funds

  • Both non-residents as well as residents shall raise it.

Derivative and Speculative transactions

  • For Core activities – allowed to Buy and Sell derivatives.
  • For non-core activities – Allowed to participate in derivative transactions only to hedge their underlying exposures.
  • Core and Non-core activities – Not permitted to undertake or fund any speculative transaction.

Non-core activities

Intending to undertake either a single or a combination of non-core activities shall fulfil the following conditions:

  • It shall carry out each such activity through separately identifiable departments;
  • It shall ensure a firewall between various non-core activities so that no conflict-of-interest situation arises.
  • It shall formulate an approved grievance redressal and customer compensation policy to deal with such complaints.

11. Foreign Currency Accounts

Banking units are allowed to open accounts in prescribed foreign currencies for individuals, corporate or institutional entities resident of India or outside India as specified by the authority.

It is permitted for individuals who are person resident in India to open, hold, and maintain an account in foreign currencies as specified by the authority with any banking units for undertaking transactions connected with or arising from permissible current or capital account transactions or its combination will be followed according to the Liberalised Remittance Scheme(LRS) of RBI.

12. Transactions through foreign currency accounts

Cash transaction, especially in foreign currency accounts, is prohibited. It is mandatory for foreign currency accounts to be opened, held, and maintained with a banking unit in the form of current savings or term deposits, as specified by the authority.

13. Permitted Activities

It is permissible for banking unit to perform their business activities according to section 3 (1) (e) and section 6 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, rather than those activities which the Home Regulator of the parent bank or Authority strictly prohibits. Banking Units are required to comply with the terms and conditions specified by the authority in specific matters related to design, execution, and Risk management, such as

Permitted the core activities

  • Lending in the form of loans, commitments and guarantees, securitization, and sale and purchase of portfolios.
  • Undertake investment activities as principal
  •  Equipment leasing
  •  Financial lease transactions for aircraft lease & ship lease
  • To Buy or Sell the derivatives;
  • Global/Regional Corporate Treasury Centre and
  • any other core activity as may be permitted by IFSCA.

Specialized activities

  • Credit enhancement;
  • Factoring and forfeiting of receivables
  • any other technical activity as specified by IFSCA.

Permitted non-core activities

  • Merchant Banking
  • Authorized person
  •  Registrar and Share Transfer Agent
  •  Trusteeship services
  • Investment Advisory services
  • Portfolio Management services
  • Distribution of mutual fund units
  • Distribution of insurance products
  • Trading, clearing, or professional clearing member of IFSC exchanges and clearing corporations
  • Transactions are permitted under the framework for aircraft and ship operating leases.
  • Asset Management support services • any other non-core activity, with prior approval of IFSCA

Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering

14. KYC and AML Measures

Banking units are required to comply with the regulatory norms of Anti Money Laundering and counter-terrorist Financing and Know your Customer guidelines specified by the authority from time to time.

        KYC & Corporate Governance and Disclosure requirements:

  • KYC norms and Reporting requirements – as specified for banking units in IFSC.
  •  Mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, or changes in management of an FC/parent of an FU, which results in a change in control of at least 20% of total share capital or business decisions – shall be subject to prior approval and shall comply with the registration requirements.
  • The above shall be intimated to the IFSCA within 15 days from the date of such an event

Operational Requirements

15. Reporting requirements

Banking units are required to furnish their operational information to the concerned authority in the form of specified guidelines by the authority from time to time. It is mandatory for banking units to report in US Dollars to the authority unless it is not specifically specified by the same authority.

16. Maintenance of books of accounts, records, and documents

It is mandatory for the operating banking units to keep and maintain their books of accounts, records, and documents as specified in foreign currencies or maybe declared during the time of making the application according to Regulation 3.

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Books of accounts

  • Shall be maintained only in USD.
  • Accounts about its transactions shall kept distinct from its parents.

17. Maintenance of Accounts

Banking units are allowed to hold an INR account out of the specified foreign currencies to meet their administrative and statutory expenses. It is mandatory for the baking unit to maintain separate nostro accounts with the correspondent bank rather than nostro accounts. Other branches of the parent bank within India must maintain all other accounts.

Tax Incentives for IFSC Unit

Income Tax:

Units in IFSC:

  • 100% tax exemption for ten consecutive years out of 15 years.
  • IFSC Unit can select any ten-year out of a 15-year block.
  • MAT / AMT is applied at 9% of book profits to the Company/others set up as a unit in IFSC.
  • MAT does not apply to companies in IFSC opting for a new tax regime
  • Dividend income distributed by the Company in IFSC shall be taxed in the hands of the shareholder.

Investors:

  • Interest income paid to non-residents on:
    • Money lent to IFSC units will not be taxable.
    • Long Term Bonds & Rupee Denominated Bonds listed on IFSC exchanges shall be taxable at 4%, which is the lower rate.
  • Transfer of specified securities listed on the IFSC exchange by a non-resident shall not be treated as a transfer.

Fixed securities include Bond, GDR, Foreign currency bonds, Rupee-denominated bonds of Indian companies, Derivatives, Units of Mutual Funds, Units of business trusts, Units of Alternative Investment Funds and Foreign currency equity shares of companies

Goods and Services Tax (GST) Benefits:

Units in IFSC:

  • No GST on services:
    • Received by a unit in IFSC.
    • To IFSC/ SEZ units of off-shore clients.
  • GST shall be applicable on services provided to the Domestic Tariff Area

Investors

No GST on the transactions carried out in IFSC exchanges

Other taxes duty Exemptions

Units in IFSC

State Subsidiaries – Lease rental, PF contribution, electricity charges.

Investors

Exemption from STT, CTT, and stamp duty regarding transactions carried out in IFSC exchanges.

Nil tax on:

  • Security Transaction Tax (STT).
  • Commodity Transaction Tax (CTT).
  •  Dividend Distribution Tax.
  • Long-Term Capital Gain (LTCG).
  • Short-term Capital Gain (STCG).

Tax Incentive Available to Sez Units Other Than Ifsc Units

State Subsidiaries as per the IT & ITeS Policy
Stamp Duty & Registration / Conversion fee exemption100% reimbursement of the Stamp Duty & Registration amount to be paid.
Electricity duty and subsidy on tariff:100 % Reimbursement on Electricity duty and Re. 1 subsidy on power tariff for five years.
Reimbursement of Provident Fund contribution by employer –1. 100% of EPF amount paid in case of female employees2. 75% of the EPF amount paid in the case of the male employees.
Lease rental subsidy of every 50 sq ft Per employee-1. Up to 20 employees — Rs. 8 per sq. ft. 2. 20 – 100 employees — Rs. 5 per sq. ft. 3. Above 100 employees — Rs. 3 per sq. ft.
Capital Subsidy :Capital subsidy shall be @ 25% of cap expenditure for a one-time purchase of Computer, networking & relatable hardware subject to a ceiling of Rs. 1 crore.

Conclusion

IFSC plays an important role in financial service transactions, and its success is embedded within the development of a strong banking network, insurance, and capital market regime. The IFSC growth has significantly impacted inclusive economy development, capital formation, resource mobilization, job creation, and skill development and contributed to the growth of the Nation’s GDP.

FAQ’s

  1. What is Gujarat International Finance Tech- City (Gift City)?

    Gift City in Gujarat is designed to build a global financial and IT services hub. It is the first of such kind developed within India to be at par or above the global financial centres. The Master of Gift City offers a multi-service Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with the status of an International Financial Services Center and domestic and Associated social infrastructures. GIFT SEZ Limited and its development is so developed at Gandhinagar with an intent to focus primarily on the development of IFSC and other allied activities within SEZ space.

  2. What is the Purpose of setting up the Gift City?

    The intention behind setting up the Gift City is to create and develop an environment for a world-class smart city to make a global financial hub with the development of IFSC.

  3. Who are the promoting entities of Gift City?

    Gujarat Urban Development Company Limited (GUDCL) is behind the entities to promote them in GIFT City. GUDCL comes under the Gujarat Government and facilitates urban development and helps the State government along with other agencies to formulate policy Institutional building and to assist in raising funds from multilateral agencies under different projects and facilitate the sustainable growth of both the new and existing urban areas to secure high living standard and boost in economic activities.

  4. What is the existing infrastructure available at Gift City?

    Gift City holds a wide land area of 886 acres with a master plan to develop 62 million sq. meters. Built-up areas consist of commercial space at 67%, residential at 22%, and social at 11%, including space for Ultra-modern offices, School, Residential places, hospitals, and business club, with different recreational amenities that truly makes Gift City “Walk to World”. Moreover, the Gift City hold state-of-the-art towers, and 2 of them are the tallest structure in Gujarat City. Gift City also hold some unique structure, such as
    Data Centres-  a certified TIER IV green data centre by Tata Communications.
    Automated Waste Collection System (AWCS)– AWCS is a segregation plant is a next-level advanced infrastructure to maximize resource recovery and is more likely to minimize emission and the impact of emission on the environment and space and ensure Gift City have no visibility of waste to make city clean, green and healthy. Water– It has zero water discharge city, having an in-house water treatment plant managed within the Gift City. One can drink water directly from any tap.
    Power- It has 99.9999% power reliability in the city.
    Utility Tunnel– Except for the gas and sewage, all utility services from plants to buildings will be routed using the tunnel.

  5. Can we carry out domestic transactions from Gift City?

    Yes, we can easily carry out domestic transactions from Gift City. The city has two zones: the Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) and the MultiService Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Rupee-denominated transactions can be easily carried from the DTA Zone.

  6. Name the types of companies operating in commercial buildings in the GIFT domestic area?

    Gift City is the residential address to different industries such as Banks, Insurance Companies, Capital Market stockbrokers, IT & ITeS companies, including BPO and KPO and many more. Companies that operate in the commercial tower of the domestic area are TCS, Oracle, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, nCode, etc.

  7. Is there any transport facility for the public use in Gift City?

    Gift City possesses a well-planned transport facility that links the city to different parts of Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad with various modes of transport facility. The city has bus services that run on a regular interval of time.

  8. What are the benefits of SEZ in Gift City?

    The SEZ space of Gift City enables duty-free export and import taxes on goods and services And provides significant cost savings for businesses that operate in International trade.

  9. Is there a GST in Gift City?

    IFSC is free from goods and service tax for any type of services received by a unit in IFSC, whether such services are offered from IFSC to India. GST is not applicable for those transactions that are carried out in IFSC exchange, etc.

  10. Which is the first bank in GIFT City?

    It is believed that Yes Bank was the first bank to operate its business operations within (Gift City) from its IFSC banking unit (IBU).

  11. Who is the regulator of the banking unit in Gift IFSC?

    The banking unit (IBU) is duly regulated and governed by the IFSCA Authority within the GIFT city. It is the said authority that formulates rules and guidelines for the business operations of IBU.

  12. What are the features of Gift City?

    Gift City holds a wide land area of 886 acres with a master plan to develop 62 million sq. meters. Built-up areas consist of commercial space 67%, residential 22%, and social 11%, including space for Ultra-modern offices, Schools, Residential places, hospitals, hotels, and business clubs, with different recreational amenities that truly make Gift City “Walk to World”. 

  13. What are SEZ types?

    The most common types of SEZ are free-trade zones, export processing zones, specialized zones, and industrial parks. SEZ area is likely to offer their users tax incentives, which include exemption on duties, fees, etc.

  14. What is the FDI limit in SEZ?

    FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) range up to 100% allowed via automated route to all manufacturing activities with special economic zone (SEZs).

  15. How many companies are there in Gift City?

    As reported till 3rd April 2023, Gift City witnessed sustainable growth and presently has more than 450 registered entities that offer financial services within the IFSC landscape, including banks, capital markets, fintech, aircraft leasing, bullion exchange, etc.

  16. Is alcohol legal in Gift City?

    The Gujarat government has totally banned the sale of liquor or alcohol in Gujarat. This proviso departure from the stern provision of a total ban on alcohol sale has a valid reason as relaxation be availed with the Gift City only. The alcohol relaxation will not be availed beyond the boundaries of Gift City.

  17. What is the current status of Gift City?

    Till 4th July 2023, Gift City reported an investment of INR 14,500 crores depending upon the sale of development rights in the project, where a 99 99-year lease on land is vested to investors.

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