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KARACHI: The Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) and Pakistan Steel Mills Chairman Dr Saifuddin Junejo have said they are establishing public-private export processing zones in the country.

It has been studied that governments have a shortage of land and capital, which is why it has been suggested to the government to establish public-private export processing zones, the rules and regulations of which are in the final stages of preparation in the Ministry of Law.

He expressed these views during his visit to the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI). Chairman Export Processing Zone Authority and Pakistan Steel Mills further said that there is a total of 300 acres of land in the export processing zone while another 80 acres of land is being provided by the Sindh government.

However, compared to other countries, they have thousands of acres of land in their zones.

At present 272 industries are established in EPZA while 2 new zones are also being added in the country which includes Reko Diq.

He said that Pakistan's FTA with other countries did not boost the local industry, because we started importing raw materials, which is affecting the local industry.

Saifuddin Junejo said that we should reduce our dependence on textiles, leather and other traditional exports and move towards new products. With the help of China, the export of fruits and vegetables can be increased by improving their production.

Chairman EPZA and Pakistan Steel Mills said that the decision to privatize the steel mills was taken in 2019 after which 4 international companies expressed interest in acquiring it. 2 big companies from China have also visited the steel mills.

However, there were huge liabilities problems in the steel mills, of which the liability with the Sui Southern Gas Company has been settled.

He said that Steel Mills has been divided into 2 companies, the first will remain under the name of Steel Mills, while the second company will be Steel Corporation, which has also been registered.

He further said that Steel Corporation itself will be privatized. On 1500 acres of land for steel mills, the government will set up a special economic zone with the help of PIDC. He said that the only solution to the problem of steel mills is privatization.

KATI President Faraz-ur-Rehman said that Korangi Industrial Area has a share of 50 percent in domestic exports. All major exporters of Pakistan belong to this industrial zone.

He said that due to the recent economic crisis in the country, the industries have been badly affected, and a large number of industries have closed down due to the problems of LCs.

He said that in these difficult conditions, banks have earned huge profits, which the government should take notice of. Due to the profiteering of the banks on the dollar, there was a shortage of raw materials in the country. Karachi accounts for 52 percent of the country's revenue, with the largest industrial area operating in Korangi, but the business community is being neglected by the federal government.

Faraz-ur-Rehman further said that the Charter of Economy is urgently needed at this time, but neglecting Karachi is tantamount to harming Pakistan's economy.

Former President Danish Khan said in his speech that in the past, it used to take many months and years to get the amount of duty drawback or rebate on exports, but Saifuddin Junejo introduced reforms and introduced an automatic rebate system in which within 72 hours. The amount of the rebate is transferred to the exporter's account. Danish Khan said that we need a stable policy while there is a need to end dependence on imports and increase exports.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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