ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday directed the authorities concerned to take all possible measures to provide land, electricity and gas connections as well as tax incentives to attract more Chinese companies to invest in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in across Pakistan.
The meeting was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong, Federal Ministers Shaukat Tarin, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Asad Umar, Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on CPEC Affairs Khalid Mansoor and senior officers concerned.
“Pakistan needs investment to accelerate industrialisation,” the prime minister said while chairing a meeting on facilitating the Chinese investors in SEZs.
“It is critical to create maximum employment opportunities for our growing population, 65 per cent of which is under the age of 35”, he added.
The prime minister was briefed that out of the total of 27 SEZs in the country, work on five SEZs including Dhabeji in Sindh, Rashakai in KPK, Bostan in Balochistan, Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Punjab, and Gwadar in Balochistan was in full swing.
He was informed that an effective one window operation facility was being set up at each of these SEZs along with a facilitation center at China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority to resolve all issues of potential Chinese investors under one roof.
An official source told Pakistan Today that Prime Minister Imran Khan has been informed that foreign investors, who have bought land in the nine special economic zones (SEZs) in Punjab, are getting concerned as they are unable to execute their plans of industrial development in the absence of power and gas supplies.
The official said that the prime minister has assured the Chinese investors of provision of all the basic and fundamental facilities to the SEZs as well as release of funds allocated in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for provision of the services.
The official said that the prime minister also got a review of the status of the nine SEZs in Punjab during his day-long visit to Punjab province recently. The PM also chaired various meetings to review the development plans in Lahore and also held a one-on-one meeting with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar at the chief minister’s secretariat.
The official said that investors from China, Turkey, Korea, the Netherlands and Japan have procured land for setting up industries and urgently needed power and gas.
Since the federal government has allocated funds for the facilities in its PSDP, the Punjab government has demanded the finances be released at the earliest so that the province could begin work on establishing grid stations and laying power lines and gas pipes, the official added.
the official said that PM Khan also directed the Punjab government to focus more on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects in Sheikhupura and Faisalabad, and resolve the administrative matters of the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company.