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November 13, 2018

Govt wants all districts to grow at equal pace: minister


November 13, 2018

LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Jawan Bakhat Hashim on Monday said the Punjab government wants all districts to grow on equal pace during the next five years for which it will welcome World Bank and other development partners’ investment and public-private partnership in south Punjab, besides acknowledging technical support from them.

The Punjab government will announce first five years development plan for the province which will focus on service delivery, agriculture sector growth, construction of dams, upgradation of cities and revival of the industries.

The minister expressed these views in a workshop with World Bank mission organised by the Planning and Development Department. The bank delegation was led by its country head Patchamuthu Illangovan while officials from various departments attended the workshop.

The minister said that the government will also announce medium term framework and public long-term investment policies. He said the government is focusing on brining agriculture revolution for which all segments of sector would be improved. Further, Tevta and other skill development institutions would be upgraded for skill development. The workshop has also discussed uplift development projects and budgetary allocations for the uplift of the south Punjab along with pointing out the investment opportunities in the province. The minister believed that the interactive session between the World Bank and the Punjab government was useful and such session should continue in future too.

The minister in another meeting with the World Bank mission also highlighted the resources mobilisation steps were taken by the Punjab government which resulted in increase in provincial revenue generation. Further, he pointed that there was vast scope in expansion in resource generation along with improvement service delivery. He said the government focusing on long-term policies for resources mobilisation, tax system reforms, betterment of social sector, which should not be limited to current government rather sustainable and continued in the future too.

However, Chairman, P&D, Habibur Rehman Gillani expressed concern about the Punjab government on some of the World Bank projects. The World Bank delegation explained the support given by it to Punjab government in various sectors.

investors: Provincial Minister for Industry, Commerce and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal has said that promotion of investment is priority agenda of the government and facilities were being provided to national and international investors under one roof.

The investment will be given complete legal protection and Saudi investors will be provided every possible facility for investing in the province of Punjab. The Punjab government is fully committed to promote Pakistan-Saudi trade relations, he added.

Addressing a seminar held under the aegis of SABIC on the topic of SABIC solutions for the packing industry at a hotel here on Monday, he said that a special cell was being established to facilitate national and international investors at Punjab Board of Investment and Trade.

Country Head of SABIC Khalid Mehmood and President Pak-Saudi Joint Chambers of Commerce and Industry Mian Mehmood along with a number of investors also spoke on the occasion.

He stated that a new industrial policy was being devised and this policy would help to expedite the process of industrialisation in the province. A 10-year tax holiday in income tax will be given under the new industrial policy and zero duty will be imposed on import of machinery.

Similarly, work will be expedited on Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park in Sheikhupura along with establishment of special economic zones.

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