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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel Monday pointed out that mismanagement in the Board of Investment (BoI) has a negative impact on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in financial year 2020-21. Addressing the media after convening a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) subcommittee, convener Senator Sherry Rehman said, "It is appalling that the Board of Investment (BoI) has not made its statutory rules and regulations for 20 years, and is locked in a stalemate over pay packages among other things."

FDI declines 20pc in two months

She maintained, "It is shocking that a premier federal agency is paralysed by so much mismanagement; it is no surprise that FDI has slipped around 35 percent in financial year 2020-21."

"It is surprising that over the past 20 years, BoI has only had eight board meetings. Despite having the responsibility of piloting CPEC projects, including the Special Economic Zones (SEZs)," she added.

She said that the management of the BoI has failed to present the annual reports for the last three years or resolve internal anomalies, which is preventing the progress. This must be immediately rectified as transparency is the currency of investor confidence.

FDI plunges by 28.9pc in FY21

Rehman said, "Annual reports should be shared with the Committee but in this case only discussions of a draft for the financial year 2016-17 have been mentioned. This is creating a backlog of reports that should be the last thing expected from a body that deals with financial matters of macroeconomic significance. Reports need to be finalised and released. If the PTI government aims to increase the investment, it must do away with such inefficiencies and lack of transparency."

"Pakistan needs foreign investment and employment opportunities; hence it is important for the BoI to play its part effectively. We have given them 90 days to finalise their rules and regulations as we cannot afford any more delays," she said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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