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KARACHI: The Sindh Government is planning to establish new industrial zones across the province, mainly in Karachi, under a new industrialisation policy to attract local and foreign investors and businessmen to boost up economic activities across the province.

Jam Ikramullah Dharejo, Minister for Industries and Commerce Sindh, stated this while speaking at a meeting of Federal B Area Association of Trade and Industries (FBATI).

He said industrial zones are being considered at various locations, including Port Qasim, to enhance industrial activities and employment opportunities, as well as, commercial capital in the province.

The provincial government is also planning to allocate funds in the Annual Development Plan (ADP) to develop the required infrastructure across the seven industrial zones in Karachi aimed at facilitating the existing industrialists in the province.

He said the provincial government under his ministry is working to introduce one-window operations for industrialists to resolve their issues immediately. On the other hand, provincial departments— Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, Stamp Duty and EOBI— are being directed to facilitate industrialists rather than interrupt their business activities.

Jam further stated that the provincial government is in dialogue with the federal government to ensure the supplies of natural gas and electricity to the province's residents and industries in accordance with the constitution's rights.

The provincial minister further said the government will introduce a public-private partnership to promote the concept of setting up combined effluent plants in industrial zones as per requirement of exporting countries.

President FBATI Syed Raza Hussain said the provincial government should continue to collaborate with industrialists through monthly meetings of the industry liaison committee to address industry challenges meaningfully.

He pointed out that industrial land is very limited in Karachi; hence, new industrial units are not being established despite its demand in various sectors. He further suggested that the government should devise an affordable financing scheme for industrialists who own land in industrial zones but lack the capital to expand their operations.

CEO FITE Babar Khan said Chinese investors are interested in setting up industrial units in Karachi but are reluctant to invest due to the city's lack of facilities, dilapidated infrastructure, and security issues.

He pointed out that several companies in Sindh that are mulling to relocate their operations to Punjab due to the availability of affordable lands, abundance of water, and other required infrastructure.

There should be an industrial belt from the outskirts of Karachi to major cities of the Sindh to cater to industrial activities across the province with availability of infrastructure and utilities for investors, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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