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August 14, 2020

SEZs recommended for final approval

Business

August 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Board of Investment (BoI) on Thursday recommended two special economic zones, including the first one in the private sector, to the apex authority for final approval.

The approvals committee of SEZs recommended JW-SEZ and Dhabeji SEZ for consideration by the board of approvals (BoA) during its 7th meeting.

BoI Chairman Atif Bokhari said industrialisation of Pakistan is the top agenda of the government and all out efforts would be made to realise the vision by expediting the population of special economic zones in the country.

BoI Secretary Fareena Mazhar, representatives from federal ministries, provincial boards of investment, and SEZ developers were also present on the occasion.

“Significant progress has been achieved on SEZs development and colonisation during the last few months,” Bokhari said.

“The teamwork by the federal and provincial government, particularly the efforts of the project management unit for industrial cooperation are helping us to remove the hurdles that are hindering the progress.”

The chairman said the BoI will fully cooperate and ensure efficient policy formulations at high level.

The committee was told the first private SEZ was recommended for consideration of the board of approval which would lead to a healthy competition between the public and private zones.

On the direction of the BoA, the approvals committee reconsidered the zone application of Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad, and finally approved it for granting of SEZ status.

The board of approval, in its 5th meeting, had already granted in-principle approval for awarding of SEZ status to Allama Iqbal Industrial City subject to completion of all codal formalities by the committee.

The approvals committee further approved constitution of three SEZs committees of Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Bostan and Hub SEZs, allowing the sale of plots

in the respective SEZs as soon as the notification is issued.

The SEZ committees shall have responsibilities to administer and enforce SEZ benefits and rules as well as provide facilitation between the SEZ, its enterprises and the government.

The drafts of sole enterprise SEZ regulations and sale of plot regulations was referred to the board for final approval.

The draft of sole enterprise SEZ regulations would provide clarity on procedural guidelines and proposes certain parameters in addition to the zone approvals criteria provided in the SEZ Act and rules to safeguard the socioeconomic interest of the country and provide passage to only serious investors for establishment of single-unit SEZs.

The draft of sale of plot regulations aims at providing the standard operating procedures to safeguard the interest of the zone enterprises while considering their applications by the SEZ Committee for admitting or otherwise into a SEZ, and subsequent sale/lease/sub-lease of plots.