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KARACHI: Prime Minister Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan Wednesday urged the business & industrial community of Karachi to look into the possibility of setting up industrial units in AJK where they, in addition to having businesses in a completely safe and secure environment, will also be able to enjoy cheaper land facility available at Rs1.2 million per acre only.

He said they will also get inexpensive electricity and its rates can be brought down further after negotiations with industrialists looking forward to set up their units in AJK.

“We want the business and industrial community of Karachi, which contributes 70 percent revenue to the national exchequer, to come forward and lead the industrialists of Kashmir so that our industries could learn from their expertise and produce fine quality products in addition to creating abundant employment opportunities for the local populace,” he said while speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industries (KCCI).

AJK Prime Minister said, “I fully understand and highly acknowledge the commendable role being played by Karachi Chamber in economic development of Pakistan as it is this Chamber which always vocally raises voice for resolving issues of the trader community.”

Keeping in view the vibrant role being played by KCCI, the AJK government would like to see the sitting President KCCI on the boards of various universities, medical colleges and technical institutes in AJK so that his valuable inputs could be utilized for improving the performance of these institutions, AJK PM said, adding that an information desk will also be established at KCCI to assist business community members looking forward to explore business and investment opportunities in AJK.

There are also a lot of investment opportunities in Kashmir’s tourism sector wherein the business community of Karachi can certainly benefit, he said. Referring to severe economic crises and rising inflation being suffered by the entire population of Pakistan, he stressed that all the political parties must put their difference aside and sit together to jointly devise strategies for resolving the economic crises being faced by the country as the ongoing economic crises and the skyrocketing inflation have made the lives of poor population miserable. “We will have to come out of ‘clutches of dollar’.

IMF is not concerned about the impact of exorbitant electricity and gas tariffs. They are only concerned about implementation of conditions at any cost without taking the impact or ground realities into consideration”, he opined.

He said that in order to improve Pakistan’s depleting exports the business community will have to focus on diversification.

Agreeing to KCCI’s suggestion of signing a Memorandum of Understanding, he assured that the business community looking forward to initiate businesses will be fully facilitated by the AJK government in terms of infrastructure, tariffs and taxation, etc.

President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, while welcoming the AJK Prime Minister, underscored the need for promoting the tourism opportunities available in the AJK region which was one of the most beautiful lands in the country, capable of attracting large number of tourists from around the world. He was of the view that as industrial land has become extremely expensive in all the industrial zones of Karachi, the AJK government should give some kind of special incentives to Karachi-based industrialists who want to set up their industrial units in AJK.

“In addition to cheaper land, low-cost electricity, suitable infrastructure and tax incentives would certainly encourage many industrialists to open up their production units in AJK without having a second thought”, he added.

He said that the Karachi Chamber will also look into the possibility of sending its delegation to AJK to explore business and investment opportunities in this region. “To create a win-win situation, the AJK government must provide all the required facilities with some special incentives to those industrialists intending to set up their units in AJK’s Special Economic Zones”, he said, adding that Karachi Chamber was eager to sign an MoU with AJK Chamber of Commerce so that the business communities could support and cooperate with each other, besides make collectively efforts to pull the economy out of ongoing crises.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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