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Monday December 06, 2021

Strong industry vital for economic stability: PM

December 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said industrial development was vital to economic growth adding that the government was committed to ensuring ease-of-doing-business for the investors.

Chairing the 7th meeting of Board of Approvals for Special Economic Zones (SEZs), he said the economic activities generated by SEZs will increase job opportunities for local skilled and un-skilled labour and directed provision of utility services, including electricity and gas, to the SEZs on priority.

Federal Ministers Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Senator Shibli Faraz, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, chief secretaries of Sindh and Balochistan, chairman Board of Investment, chairman FBR, deputy chairman Planning Commission of Pakistan, CEOs of provincial Boards of Investments, president FPCCI and senior officers, including secretary BOI, attended the meeting.

Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan and deputy governor State Bank joined the meeting via video link. The meeting was apprised that there were 19 SEZs notified in the country. The Board approved SEZ Zone Enterprise Admissionmeeting via video link.

The meeting was apprised that there were 19 SEZs notified in the country. The Board approved SEZ Zone Enterprise Admission and Sale/Lease of Plot Regulations 2020.

The Board meeting approved the launch of online SEZ Management Information System, whereby the approval process will be digitalized and streamlined. It will also act as a one-window for investors and will ensure transparency.

The SEZ Board also approved award of status of Sole Enterprise Special Economic Zones to Siddiqsons Tin Plate in Balochistan and Service Long March Tyre in Sindh SEZs.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday directed Special Assistant Dr. Sania Nishtar to formulate a comprehensive strategy for expansion of the Ehsas programme. For this purpose, Special Assistant for Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr. Sania Nishtar and World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine called on him.During their meeting, the Prime Minister was informed about doubling of the World Bank’s assistance to the Ehsas programme for further expansion to ensure social security for most of the deserving people.

Further, the World Bank Country Director described the Ehsas programme as a flagship of social protection and a role model for other countries.

Najy Benhassine appreciated the Prime Minister’s steps for climate change and praised Pakistan’s commitment to generate electricity from other environmentally-friendly (renewable) sources of coal and its adverse impact on emerging climate change in the region.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan, while greatly appreciating the professionalism and operational readiness of Pakistan Navy, has reposed complete confidence on the Navy’s preparedness in safeguarding country’s sea frontiers.

Imran Khan, while extending full support of the government for capacity building of Navy to meet the evolving challenges in maritime domain, acknowledged Pakistan Navy’s contribution towards regional maritime security by contributing in international efforts and taking own initiatives.

The prime minister showed his satisfaction on steps taken to ensure security of Pakistan’s coast, Gwadar Port and maritime related projects of CPEC.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government fully realises the importance of maritime sector and its immense economic potential which could be utilised for the prosperity of the country.

In the same spirit, he said government’s vision of declaring 2020 as ‘Year of Blue Economy’ was to set the strategic direction for spurring growth of maritime sector.

The prime minister and the minister for Defence, minister for Finance and Maritime Affairs, special assistant to Prime Minister on National Security and secretaries Defence, Finance, Foreign and Maritime Affairs were given detailed briefing on maritime security challenges and Pakistan Navy’s perspective on development of maritime sector.

The Naval Chief thanked the prime minister for his visit and reposing confidence in the Navy. He also assured that Pakistan Navy with the help of Allah (SWT) will continue to defend the country’s sea frontiers and maritime interests and shoulder the responsibilities with honour both during peace and war.

Upon arrival the prime minister was welcomed by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi and was presented guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent.

The prime minister laid floral wreath at Shuhada monument and was introduced to the principal staff officers at Naval Headquarters.