Sindh govt has nothing for investment sector in budget | Pakistan Today

Sindh govt has nothing for investment sector in budget

KARACHI: The Sindh government has announced no policy for bringing the investment in the province in the budget for the Fiscal Year 2019-20.

The chief minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, who presented the Sindh Budget for FY 2019-20 at the Sindh Assembly had nothing to announce for the investment sector, instead, he just went on to repeat the years-old pending projects in the province.

In his budget speech, the CM said that his government is working to develop and promote an investment-friendly environment that will boost economic activity and bring value addition to all sectors of Economy. It will encourage public-private partnership for the socio-economic development of Sindh.

The Sindh government has intervened to improve the business, climate & regulatory atmosphere for ease of doing Business in Sindh. ‘Doing business 2019 report’ ranked Pakistan at 136 out of 190 countries, which is an improvement of 11 positions from 147 in 2018. Following activities will be initiated through Investment Department for the FY 2019-20.

Sindh Education City (SEC), spread over 8900 acres, is one of the topmost priority projects of the government. 20 local and foreign institutions have been allocated land to develop their academic campuses and some have completed their detailed design to commence construction of their campuses. The master plan of Education City (EC) has been completed and the Government will start working on the first phase of infrastructure in the next year. This will be completed in five years at the cost of Rs.13.9 billion.

Marble city is planned over 300 acres of land along Northern bypass, Karachi. The work on the first phase of this project will be initiated in the next year and will be completed in five years at the cost of Rs.2400 million.

Keeping in view the great success of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) around the world, the government of Pakistan has passed the Special Economic Zone Act, 2012. Sindh Investment Department is the supervisory authority for Special Economic Zones in Sindh. It is pertinent to mention that the first three zones have been granted with status of Special Economic Zone by federal government and all of them belong to Sindh. They are Khairpur Special Economic Zone, Bin Qasim Industrial Park, Korangi Creek Industrial Park.

The Sindh government has allocated 1530 acres of land to be developed as Dhabeji Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) in Thatta, a Priority Project under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will facilitate the potential investors of China and other countries either start new enterprises or transfer their facilities to Pakistan.

Enterprise Development Fund: Sindh Enterprise Development Fund (SEDF) has been created by the Sindh government to encourage investments in the agri-business sector, inculcate entrepreneurial ability and to provide a major push to the wider agri-economy. SEDF has been able to mobilize private sector agri-business investments worth over Rs.9 billion, out of which projects worth Rs.4 billion have been implemented and remaining projects worth Rs.5 billion are in pipeline.

This year government has placed Rs.442 Million for financial support to double the rice export from Sindh, Rs.55 million for financial support for women entrepreneurship, artisans and farmers and Rs.240 million for cotton sector value addition estate to increase production in agriculture and bring more agriculture technology through private investors.

Sindh Investment Department (SID) is fully committed and dedicated to gathering the support of foreign donor agencies. Presently, the concept of Technology Park is under consideration to be built in Karachi. This will be the first project of Information Technology which will attract foreign companies to invest in this field.

The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Karachi Bureau.



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