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March 6, 2021

Govt allots 320 acres lands in SEZ to local, Chinese investors


March 6, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday allocated 320 acres of industrial lands to local and Chinese investors in the second special economic zone in Faisalabad.

A committee formed for Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AIIC) Faisalabad special economic zone approved 15 applicants and allotted lands to them. The applicants include Chinese Firm Zhengbang Agriculture Pakistan Private Limited with a plan Rs800 million investments in agriculture sector and 14 local firms, including Zahid Jee Textile Mills, Ocean Ceramics, and Ittehad Metals with investment proposals of Rs11.8 billion, Rs11.2 billion and Rs7.5 billion, respectively.

Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Atif Bokhari said the automation process of SEZs was approved to facilitate investors to gain admission in zones and ensure transparency in allocation of plots in various SEZs.

BOI Secretary Fareena Mazhar said international investors could easily avail an opportunity to identify and select the potential locations for setting up units in the SEZs.

“BOI will leave no stone unturned to provide timely facilitation particularly availability of utilities to SEZs. BOI will ensure handholding of the investors and provinces at every stage of the industrial development,” Mazhar said in a statement.

The AIIC is the second SEZ under CPEC with planned investment of Rs53.6 billion after the launch of Rashakai SEZ.

Under the CPEC framework, nine economic zones dedicated to industrial development with incentives were to be set up. Tax exemptions for expatriates till 2040 were proposed as incentive to attract investments in SEZs.

The $60 billion CPEC launched six years back concentrating mainly on construction of roads and motorways and power plants to ensure energy security in the wake of massive power shortfall.

Within a last couple of years, a series of power projects transformed the country into energy-surplus destination from the power-deficient one. CPEC framework envisaged 10,000 megawatts of production capacity.

Special economic zones are the next crucial component after early harvest projects under CPEC. Initially, 27 zones were expected to be set up. The number was now reduced to nine.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Vehari SEZ Committee approved its first zone enterprise. The colonization of the zone started with admission of a firm Suraya Aslam Paper Private Limited to establish a project worth Rs100 million.

The SEZ committee of Rahimyar Khan allotted land and approved zone entry to Naseem Export Private Limited with a planned Rs4.5 billion investment.

The application for zone enterprise entry and allotment of land were submitted and processed. The module ensures transparency and facilitation and works as a one window operation, a vision of the government to ensure ease of doing business.

Along with the allotment of land, these enterprises are now entitled to SEZ’s benefits, including custom duties and tax exemption under the SEZ Act 2012.