Gwadar may gain tax-free status

GDA prepares draft under proposed special economic district

Our Correspondent March 21, 2022


Under the Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, the proposed special economic district (SED) is likely to gain tax free status.

The Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) has prepared a draft to acquire tax-free status for the proposed SED for a period of 30-35 years under the master plan.

The draft aims to provide similar benefits and incentives to foreign investors and traders given to local businesses in special economic zones across the country.

GDA official Abdul Razzaq said the draft had been submitted to the higher authorities for consideration.
He hoped that its approval would provide a universal platform for the local business community to prosper.

The official claimed that under the Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, which was formally announced in February 2020, the governance model in terms of micro-detailed planning was undergoing rigorous brainstorming sessions by government officials.

At the same time, the PC-I to review the business plan was being reviewed so that more rules and regulations for the use of micro-land could be included in the master plan, he added.

Another GDA official said that the authority had also proposed to allocate funds for a central business district for launching high-tech economic activities under the master plan.

He added that around Rs24 billion had been allocated for the old Gwadar Master Plan (2004-2014).
“The GDA took advantage of that budget and made progress from the very beginning.”

The official further said out of the total of Rs24 billion, about Rs11 billion was not spent and eventually lapsed.

“We have requested the government to provide us with that sum of Rs11 billion, which was the legal amount of GDA, so that we can start the development work as soon as possible.”

According to the master plan, the coastal city will create 1.2 million jobs for skilled workers and professionals with an economic output exceeding $30 billion.

In 2019, the Balochistan government had unveiled the Gwadar Master Plan 2050, which stipulated that no old neighbourhoods of the port city would be relocated while restoring the historical sports and old status of the city.

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The Gwadar Master Plan has been approved by the provincial government that would be enforceable till 2050.

Gwadar holds pivotal importance in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as a hub of connectivity. Through its deep-sea port, Gwadar will benefit not only China and Pakistan but also entire Central Asia by becoming the region’s key entrepôt.


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