ISLAMABAD: Twenty-five members of the board of directors of the Board of Investment (BoI) have failed to convene a single meeting since the previous government of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) reconstituted it on August 8, 2023.
Under the Board of Investment Ordinance, 2001, the board shall meet at least once every three months. However, with 43 days no meeting of the board was held or has been scheduled in the near future, sources in BoI said.
The new board comprising of members from private and public sector was reconstituted to attract and facilitate foreign and domestic investment. After resignation of Chaudhry Salik Hussain in August 2023 no replacement has been announced as yet.
The Pakistan Business Council (PBC), a business advocacy body composed of over hundred companies, including multinationals, has criticised the composition and size of the newly constituted BOI. “With very few exceptions, neither the composition, nor the size of the BOI Board is appropriate. With prospects of investment bleak, this sort of board will certainly not help restore investors’ confidence”, the PBC stated in a letter sent to the BoI.
The BOI Ordinance 2001 stipulates that the Board shall consist of: (a) the Chief Executive of the Pakistan who shall be its President; (b) Federal Minister in Charge of the Division, to which the business relating to the BOI is allocated, who shall be its Vice-President; (c) Chairman of the BOI; and (d) not less than seven and not more than twenty-five ex officio members and non-official members.
Earlier, a 19-member board was reconstituted on May 2, 2019 during Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government but no regular meeting of the board could be held. On July 12, 2019, Imran Khan was the first prime minister who as president of the Board chaired a board meeting, an official of BoI told Business Recorder.
The official of BoI further said that the constitution of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has undermined the importance of board of directors of BoI. The cabinet approved the amendments to the Board of Investment Ordinance 2001 by adding Chapter II-A with regard to SIFC’s establishment, scope of work, functions, power, immunity, etc.
The establishment of SIFC was notified on June 17, 2023. Attracting investment from friendly countries is one of the key goals of the SIFC.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023