ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel on Tuesday was informed that $ 820 million planned infrastructure investment in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be completed within two years
The Standing Committee on Board of Investment (BoI) that met here at the Parliament House appreciated the efforts of the ministry to encourage the business activities in SEZs by giving incentives in terms of exemption on import duty of machinery and tax exemption for 10 years in order to bring foreign investment in the country. Dr Zulfiqar Bhatti chaired the meeting.
The secretary Ministry of Board of Investment briefly apprised the committee about the steps taken by them to improve the business activities in SEZs. He stated that the government has formulated uniform policies for both public and private sectors and declared nine sites for the CPEC Special Economic Zones.
The committee was further informed that the minimum area required in Special Economic Zone is 50 acres besides their plan of investment for consideration by the Board. The committee directed the ministry to establish Training Institute in Special Economic Zones for the training of labour, skilled persons as it was found that language barrier create hurdles in communication.
The committee was apprised that Federal Cabinet in its meeting held on 07-07-2020 decided to allocate Sector F-12 and G-12 Islamabad to Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA). The quota allocated for federal employees in these sectors is 40 percent, whereas, for the general public is 20 percent, for land owners is 25 percent, and 15 percent was reserved for overseas Pakistanis.
The committee was further informed about the challenges in the development of sectors, G-12, F-12, and F-13, and outlined the perils of development of urban slums due to encroachment. The consultant of the project informed that initial investment would be made through PPO Mode in which a Saudi group agreed to make an investment in the project, however, the case of acquisition of land of Sector G-12 and F-12 is sub judice in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The committee directed the Secretary Ministry of Board of Investment to coordinate with the CDA and the FGEHA to analyse the proposal and set out a transparent mechanism, in alignment with the PEPRA rule, for public-private partnership for investment in this project and report back to the committee.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023