Islamabad: Special Economic Zones SEZs would be declared soon aimed at promoting local industry as well as attracting the foreign investments for the economic prosperity of the country.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs, and Chairman Board of Investment BOI, Saleem H. Mandviwalla while addressing the business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry ICCI.
He said that the rules of the SEZs would be submitted before the cabinet meeting for approval under which tax exemptions on the import of machinery and ten years income tax will also be provided.
Industrial zone identified by the ICCI and Chakwal Chamber could also be declared as SEZs for the promotion of local industry and export oriented trade in that area, he added.
The minister said that approval of SEZs bill by the parliament was a land mark achievement of the democratic government which was prepared after taking all stakeholder on board and receiving the inputs from the relevant authorities.
Under the SEZs bill, all the investors are being provided safeguard on their investment besides it will also help the next governments for continuation of economic policies for economic development in the country, he maintained.
Saleem H. Mandviwalla further informed that new investment policy has been finalized and it would also be presented before the federal cabinet in its next meeting for approval.
He said that the draft of the policy was prepared by consulting the relevant stakeholders and taking the input from the trade bodies to promote trade and commerce in the country.
The term of minimum limits of investment has also been abolished to encourage small and medium level investors for alleviating poverty from the country by creating more job opportunities in the private sector, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Zafar Bakhtawari, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry lauded the dynamic role of Saleem H. Mandviwalla as Chairman BOI for promoting domestic and foreign investment to enhance Pakistan’s international competitiveness and exploring the new markets for Pakistani products.
He urged the Government for promoting the economic diplomacy instead of political diplomacy for developing economic relations with the rest of the world as well as stressed upon introducing business friendly polices for economic development.
Mr.Bakhtawari informed the State Minister that ICCI would establish an industrial zone in collaboration with Chakwal Chamber of Commerce & Industry at Chakwal on motorway to facilitate the growth of industrial activities.
He said that Ch.Pervaiz Elahi, Deputy Prime Minister was also principally agreed to establish an export processing zone at Chakwal motorway because of relatively affordable property prices.
ICCI President also urged to take representative of ICCI in the board of directors of Board of investment as businessmen play an important role in the development of national economy, therefore, they should be given due representation in government decisionmaking bodies for formulating business friendly economic policies.
However, Sahabzada Abdul Qadoos, President of Chakwal Chamber of Commerce and Haji Muhammad Zaheer, President of Jhelum Chambers of Commerce cautioned Senator Mandviwalla that due to the prevailing energy crisis, foreign investors were hesitant to invest in Pakistan.