ISLAMABAD: The first model Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will be developed at Gwadar under the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) due to Beijing preference given to the region.

Sources said the target is to make the Gwadar SEZ, spread over an area of 3,000 acres, fully functional by end of 2017. It will be developed by China and would accommodate industrial units for mines and minerals, food processing, agriculture, livestock and energy. The remaining SEZs would be designed and developed on similar lines.

According to the Planning Commission a total of 27 SEZs would be set up across the country under the CPEC. Informed sources said a high-level committee led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would give a formal go ahead on the SEZ schemes soon and then share details with the Chinese authorities. This would be followed up with provision of basic infrastructure facilities like power, gas and water over the next two years.

KP leads in SEZs

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will have eight SEZs, the highest among all provinces, followed by seven each in Punjab and Balochistan, three in Sindh and one each in Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad Capital Territory.

As per the Planning Commission data, other SEZs in Balochistan would include Lasbela Industrial Estate over an area of 1,290 acres, Turbat Industrial and Trading Estate over 1,000 acres, Dera Murad Jamali Industrial and Trading Estate over 50 acres, Winder Industrial and Trading Estate, Mini Industrial Estate Khuzdar over 50 acres and Bostan Industrial Estate over 1,000 acres.

The three SEZs in Sindh would include an exclusive Chinese Industrial Zone near Karachi over 2,000 acres besides a 1,250-acre Textile City near Port Qasim and the 300-acre Marble City Karachi.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, except for the expansion of existing industrial zone at Hattar, all seven SEZs would be green field initiatives. An 80-acre industrial estate would be set up at Mansehra for Marble and Granite, a 1,000-acre Industrial Estate Nowshera for manufacturing, 80-acre Industrial Estate at Chitral for food processing, 90-acre Industrial Estate Ghazi for manufacturing, 188-acre Industrial Estate D.I. Khan for manufacturing and two industrial estates at Bannu and between Kohat and Karak. A 100,000 barrel per day oil refinery is already planned for Karak.

The 250-acre SEZ for GB would be located at Moqpondass for mining and food processing.

The largest of all the 27 SEZs would be based in the Punjab’s Pind Daden Khan Industrial City which would be spread over 10,000 acres and would have industrial units for agriculture, textile, food processing, livestock, manufacturing and energy. Others would include 80-acre Multan Industrial Estate-II, 450-acre Rahimyar Khan Industrial Estate, 400-acre Bhalwal Industrial Estate, 3,815-acre DG Khan Industrial Estate, 600-acre Mianwali Industrial Estate and 200-acre Rawalpindi Industrial Estate.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2016

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