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ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has observed that the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be futile, if industries are not installed there timely.

The committee met (in-camera) with Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Sher Ali Arbab in the chair at the Parliament House Monday.

The committee was briefed by additional secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, secretary Ministry of Defence, secretary Board of Investment, secretary Power Division, secretary Petroleum Division, secretary Ministry of Railways, chairman FBR, managing directors SNGPL, SSGC and NTDC, CEO FIEDMC, CEO SEZDMC, CEO KPEZDMC, CEO PESCO, CEO KPBOIT, regarding security measures for projects under the CPEC framework, Mainline-1 (ML-1) project with special focus on ET component, and updated progress on the SEZs.

The committee recommended that the issues pertaining to sale and cancellation of plots in SEZs needs to be resolved at the earliest, so that the process of establishing industries in the SEZs could be expedited.

The committee emphasised on the need to move towards ease of doing business, so as to attract massive local and foreign direct investment in Pakistan.

The committee highlighted that quarters concerned should incentivise industries in the SEZs in such a way that the SEZs established in Pakistan could compete with other countries in the region.

Moreover, apart from focusing on agriculture and industrial sectors, the untapped potential in tourism should also be exploited.

The committee observed that a lot of revenue and employment opportunities can be generated by establishing integrated tourism zones in the country under the CPEC framework.

The committee, while receiving the briefing on security measures for projects under the CPEC framework, maintained that issues faced by the SEZs in terms of security measures affect businesses.

Measures which could thrive businesses in Pakistan should be made our top priority because economic stability will lead to peace and security in Pakistan.

The goals envisaged under the CPEC cannot be achieved without local ownership; therefore, issues faced by locals in terms of security arrangements should be resolved at the earliest, so that local ownership of CPEC projects could be secured.

While passing through security checkposts, locals as well as tourists should be dealt with politeness and their self-respect should be maintained.

The committee remarked that the world is increasingly moving towards adoption of modern technologies.

Adding Electric Traction (ET) component in Mainline-1 (ML-1) project after eight to 10 years would become obsolete and costly.

Given the huge benefit of ET component in ML-1 in terms of its pay back, cost and compatibility with environment, we need to move towards its adoption right from now and upgrade existing infrastructure of project to the electric traction.

The meeting was attended by Noor Alam Khan, MNA, Sadaqat Ali Khan Abbasi, MNA, Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali, MNA, Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak, MNA, Ghous Bux Khan Mahar, MNA, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, MNA, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, MNA, Mehnaz Akbar Aziz, MNA, Zahid Akram Durrani, MNA, and Muhammad Aslam Bhootani, MNA.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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