KP investment board annoyed at minister’s ‘interference’

June 03, 2023

PESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Board of Investment has expressed it annoyance at interference in the autonomous organisation’s affairs by caretaker minister for industries....

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PESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Board of Investment (KPBOIT) has expressed it annoyance at interference in the autonomous organisation’s affairs by caretaker minister for industries. Vice-Chairman of the KP Board of Investment (KPBOIT) Said Mahmood Khan accused Minister of Industry Adnan Jalil of unnecessary interference and showing a discouraging attitude towards the organisation, which jeopardised potential investment in the province. The minister had banned the the board from holding any kind of investment road shows. The vice chairman sent a letter to the chief minister and the chief secretary, complaining that the KP-BOIT, being a premier investment promotion agency of the provincial government, is working with both public and private sector stakeholders for promotion and facilitation of investment and trade in KP.

The KPBOIT is governed/ directed by its board of directors, chaired by the chief minister as the chairman of the board. Due to the current financial crunch and caretaker setup, the organisation is facing certain issues hampering its activities and scope. Currently, the KPBOIT is operating leaderless, without having a regular chief executive officer (CEO). Although, the acting charge of CEO KPBOIT is assigned to secretary Industries KP, due to having a limited scope of the department and also his engagements in various attached formations of the department, he is unable to give due time and attention to the KPBOIT. The process of hiring CEO KPBOIT was initiated early this year; however, due to a ban imposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the process was stopped. It is requested that the issue of CEO hiring might be taken up with the ECP and in the meantime, acting charge may be assigned to a senior director/executive of KPBOIT for smooth operations, as per policy framework.

Furthermore, keeping in view the broader scope of KPBOIT, it may be brought under the umbrella of the CM office, following the Federal Board of Investment model (being under the umbrella of the PM office) or under the umbrella of the Planning & Development Department KP.

Another hampering issue is the unnecessary interference of the caretaker minister for Industries in the operational activities of KPBOIT. His discouraging attitude towards the KPBOIT mandate had put a stop to promotional events that are already planned and approved by the BoD. He is of the opinion that the organisation should not spend on investment road shows/seminars.

This attitude of the minister is jeopardising potential investments in KP and constraining KPBOIT’s scope/mandate.

When contacted, Minister for Industries Adnan Jalil rejected the allegation and said that instead of performance, the KPBOIT members were involved in politics. They had spent billions of rupees but nothing was achieved in terms of investment.

“Instead of complaining, they must set their house in order first. The vice chairman violated the protocols; he must have contacted the secretary of Industries before writing a letter to the CM and the CS. All allegations are baseless and unjustified,” he said.The minister said the vice chairman misused his authority and facilities. The government had stopped grants for any trade expo because they did not have any viable investment plans, he added.

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