Govt keen to launch Islamabad, Karachi SEZs this year


The fed­eral gov­ern­ment is push­ing for ex­pe­dited com­ple­tion of for­mal­i­ties to launch two spe­cial eco­nomic zones (SEZs) - one each at Islamabad and Port Qasim, Karachi - this year un­der the Chi­naPak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC).

"We want to present the fed­eral SEZs as mod­els for Chi­nese in­vest­ment so that the two zones take off dur­ing the cur­rent year," a se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial told me­dia. The top pri­or­ity of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is to en­sure that CPEC phys­i­cally en­ters the next stage of in­dus­trial co­op­er­a­tion this year.

He said the Board of In­vest­ment (BoI) as the fed­eral gov­ern­ment's lead agency for for­eign in­vest­ment was hold­ing meet­ings on a daily ba­sis with Na­tional In­dus­trial Parks De­vel­op­ment and Man­age­ment Com­pany and Cap­i­tal De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity for fi­nal­i­sa­tion of all le­gal and pro­ce­dural re­quire­ments for Port Qasim and Islamabad in­dus­trial zones.

He said the zones would be given a shape that could be fol­lowed by the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments in de­vel­op­ment of their re­spec­tive SEZs. Around 1,500 acres of land out of Pak­istan Steel Mills had al­ready been iden­ti­fied and ear­marked for Port Qasim SEZ but its pric­ing has to be ap­proved by the PSM board of di­rec­tors in its com­ing meet­ing.

On the other hand, the land for Islamabad SEZ is yet to be fi­nalised. The of­fi­cial said there were some is­sues with avail­abil­ity of a com­pact piece of land and there­fore the CDA had been di­rected to sub­mit a de­tailed re­port on avail­abil­ity of land within 20 kilo­me­tre ra­dius of the cap­i­tal. The CDA had been given two op­tions in­clud­ing a rail­way land around Golra Rail­way Sta­tion and Thalian on the out­skirts of Islamabad on the mo­tor­way.

The CDA would be di­rected on the ba­sis of its re­port to start im­me­di­ate land ac­qui­si­tion so that one-win­dow fa­cil­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture could be made avail­able for their de­vel­op­ment and of­fered to the pri­vate sec­tor for in­vest­ment.

Re­spond­ing to a ques­tion, the of­fi­cial ex­plained that all seven other SEZs in pro­vin­cial and spe­cial ar­eas of Azad Jammu and Kash­mir (AJK), Gil­gitBaltistan (GB) and the Fed­er­ally Admi-nis­tered Tribal Ar­eas (Fata) were fi­nal and the gov­ern­ments of China and Pak­istan had given their con­sent for their de­vel­op­ment.

He said the ex­pe­dited de­vel­op­ment of Port Qasim and Islamabad SEZ had been taken in hand in view of com­par­a­tively slower pro­cesses at the pro­vin­cial level for seven other SEZs be­cause of their lo­calised chal­lenges. Of­fi­cials said the in­dus­trial co­op­er­a­tion would be the most cru­cial part of the CPEC's long term plan over the next 13 years for job cre­ation and ex­port growth. The two sides have set up an ex­pert group on in­dus­trial co­op­er­a­tion to scru­ti­nise de­tailed fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies of the pro­vin­cial SEZ.

The group is meet­ing on monthly ba­sis to go though the fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies and ad­dress is­sues as they arise.

The main task for the ex­pert group is to com­plete the plan­ning phase of th­ese SEZs and make sure it en­ters the im­ple­men­ta­tion phase dur­ing 2018.

Dur­ing the in­terim pe­riod, the two coun­tries are set to pass through the po­lit­i­cal tran­si­tions - ex­pected to be com­pleted in two months in China and about six months in Pak­istan.


Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Com­merce and Tex­tile, Per­vaiz Ma­lik in meet­ing with the del­e­ga­tion of Amer­i­can Busi­ness Coun­cil of Pak­istan led by its Pres­i­dent Kam­ran Nishat.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.