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LAHORE: To resolve the issues of Sialkot Export Processing Zone, the Punjab government has constituted a stakeholders committee which will table solution within seven days.

The decision was taken during a meeting between Punjab Industries and Trade Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal and a delegation of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industries led by its president Qaiser Iqbal Baryar here on Thursday.

Punjab Industries Secretary Wasif Khurshid, Export Processing Zone Authority Chairman Rizwan Ahmed Bhatti, PIEDMC CEO Javed Ilyas and Punjab Small Industries Corporation officials were also present in the meeting.

On the occasion, Baryar demanded that Sialkot Export Processing Zone should be brought under the administrative control of the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) or Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC).

In response, the minister directed the relevant officials to constitute a stakeholders committee and recommend feasible solution within seven days. “This committee should devise a practical model for Sialkot Export Processing Zone,” he added.

The minister asserted that the government is following the policy of accelerating industrialisation process to create more job opportunities. He regretted that only a few industrial units have been established in the Sialkot Export Processing Zone since 2002 and reiterated that past practice of real estate business will not be tolerated in industrial estates. “Industrialisation promotes job opportunities and encourages new investment to boost the national economy,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Minister approved a number of initiatives to beautify the provincial metropolis. He chaired a meeting with the heads of development agencies including the Commissioner Lahore, DG Lahore Development Authority (LDA), Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Director General and Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) Managing Director.

As per the plan, the entry and exit points, as well as different roundabouts, will be developed. The Minister directed the senior officers that the city’s at-grade intersections should be revamped to improve the traffic flow. “Similarly, different spots should be decorated with horticulture,” he added. The Minister further directed that greenbelts should be improved and daily cleanliness be ensured. He asked the LWMC MD to expedite the cleanliness operation in the city. Iqbal also directed them to revamp the road strip from Sagian Bridge to Band Road, adding that high-quality patchwork of city roads should be ensured.

“The development agencies should complete their respective tasks within the given timeframe. Similarly, high-quality lights should be installed at important roads for public convenience,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021