PTI govt authorises sale of plots in Allama Iqbal Industrial City

Committee refers two zone applications for board’s approval

Our Correspondent August 14, 2020
A Reuters file image


Industrialisation of Pakistan is the top agenda of Prime Minister Imran Khan and all-out efforts will be made to realise the vision by increasing the number of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country, said Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Atif R Bokhari.

Chairing seventh meeting of the Approvals Committee of SEZs on Thursday, Bokhari said significant progress had been made on SEZs development over the past few months. The committee recommended applications for two new zones, namely JW SEZ and Dhabeji SEZ, Sindh, for consideration by the Board of Approvals, chaired by the prime minister.

“Teamwork by the federal and provincial governments is helping us remove the hurdles that are hindering progress,” he said. The chairman vowed that the BOI would fully cooperate and ensure efficient policy formulation at the high level. BOI Secretary Fareena Mazhar, who was present on the occasion, informed the committee that the first private sector SEZ was recommended for consideration of the Board of Approvals, which would lead to healthy competition between the public and private economic zones.

On the directive of the Board of Approvals, the Approvals Committee reconsidered the application of Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AIIC), Faisalabad, and finally approved it for the SEZ status.

The board had already granted in principle approval for awarding the SEZ status to AIIC in its fifth meeting, subject to completion of all formalities by the Approvals Committee.

The Approvals Committee also approved the constitution of three SEZ committees for AIIC, Bostan and Hub SEZs, thereby allowing the sale of plots in the SEZs as soon as a notification was issued.

The SEZ committees will have responsibilities of administering and enforcing SEZ benefits and rules as well as facilitating the SEZs, its enterprises and the government.

During the meeting, two drafts were referred to the Board of Approvals for final approval.

A draft titled “Sole Enterprise SEZ Regulations” will 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 socio-economic interest of the country and allow only serious investors to establish single-unit SEZs.

Another draft titled “Sale of Plot Regulations” is aimed at providing the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to safeguard the interest of zone enterprises while considering their applications for admitting or otherwise into a SEZ, and subsequent sale/lease/sub-lease of plots.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2020.

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