10 economic zones planned across KP

Published January 17, 2021
In this file photo, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan performs the groundbreaking of the Nowshera Economic Zone Extension Project. — Photo courtesy PTI KP Twitter
In this file photo, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan performs the groundbreaking of the Nowshera Economic Zone Extension Project. — Photo courtesy PTI KP Twitter

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has planned to establish at least 10 economic zones across the province in the next decade under the Industrial Policy, 2020.

The provincial cabinet had approved the policy last month.

According to the policy, a copy of which is available with Dawn, the proposed zones include Rashkai Special Economic Zone and Nowshera Economic Zone Extension and will be set up in Jalozai, Nowshera, Chitral, Mohmand, Ghazi, Darband, Swat, Buner and Shakas areas. Also, the establishment of two special economic zones under the public-private partnership in the next five years has been planned.

The document shows that the policy will promote construction, automobile, pharmaceutical, electronics, apparel, transshipment, IT and food and labour intensive industries in the province.

It also includes a snapshot of the province’s existing small and medium enterprise and cottage industry and proposes the establishment of 19 small industrial estates across the province in the next decade.

Government also intends to set up two SEZs under public-private partnership

The policy proposes that the province’s human resources be equipped with modern and technical skills, including artificial intelligence, and those required for fourth industrial revolution.

It also calls for leveraging the province’s natural resources like hydel, mines and minerals, oil and gas, food and beverage processing, and cottage industry to make the local industrial sector competitive.

The fiscal incentive package proposed for investors to set up industrial units in the province provides for the exemption from provincial electricity duty for new and expansion projects, initial installation and balancing, modernisation and replacement facility for one-time duty, tax-free import of capital goods both plant and machinery, exemption of tax on transfer of sick unit property and repatriation of profit for foreign investors subject to the existing laws and commitments.

Similarly, the financial incentive package provides for 25pc concessions on land lease charges till breakeven or for a period of three years, whichever is earlier. In case of government land, the acquisition of land will take place over five years with 25 per cent down payment instead of upfront payment.

The policy notes that industrial cooperation under the CPEC provides KP with opportunities to jumpstart industrialisation.

“The Chinese labour is graduating from low-paying to high-paying jobs, while with the introduction of improved labour laws, the labour costs are rising sharply,” it said, adding that the average labour cost of an operational hour in the coastal and inland regions of China is thrice the one in Vietnam and Pakistan.

The policy says through the industrial policy, the province can leverage its natural endowments and low-cost human resource to attract Chinese industries.

According to it, there are 1,096 industrial units in various industrial units of the province and 986 of them are operational and 306 closed. These units have employed 56,439 male workers and 7,442 female ones.

The document notes that the policy is meant to help investors launch joint ventures with local ones, put money to utilise indigenous natural resources, bring in new technology, invest in labour intensive and export-oriented industries, and add value to the local products.

It adds that the policy stresses on the importance of developing the critical infrastructure facilities through the public-private partnership to help the government optimally utilise its resources while extending full facilitation to the prospective investors.

The policy also proposes incentives in the merged tribal districts, especially in those with raw material and human resources and says they will be provided with 15pc quota in credit incentives for SMEs. Also, the State Bank of Pakistan will be asked to direct both public and private sector commercial banks to extend Shariah compliant commercial lending to these districts.

According to the policy, land in the specific merged areas earmarked for industrial zones will be provided at 15 per cent discounted price, while electricity will be supplied through independent feeders. Also, an easy access to local markets will be ensured in respect of the goods processed and manufactured in the merged tribal districts.

The policy also reveals that the exemption of KP sales tax on services will continue in tribal districts until June 30, 2023.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2021

Opinion

Are we failures?
27 Feb 2021

Are we failures?

Third World leaders emulated their erstwhile oppressors...
Rage of Caliban
27 Feb 2021

Rage of Caliban

Lawyers have shown that the fraternity abides by tribalistic values...
Combating pollution
26 Feb 2021

Combating pollution

Air quality is at hazardous levels, and a more robust policy response is needed.

Editorial

LoC ceasefire
Updated 27 Feb 2021

LoC ceasefire

THE Pakistan-India relationship is known for its complexity and bitterness, but there are times when surprises of a...
27 Feb 2021

Null and void

HAD people not lost their lives, the ham-fisted attempt at rigging the Daska by-election on Feb 19 could have been...
27 Feb 2021

Minister’s non-appearance

FEDERAL Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda’s continued absence from the Election Commission’s hearing on the...
Terrorist’s escape
Updated 26 Feb 2021

Terrorist’s escape

It is not clear how many military personnel were involved in this incident and what the investigation into their actions revealed.
26 Feb 2021

Penalising filers

THE FBR has decided to penalise taxpayers filing their returns late. Apparently, these filers will be required to ...
26 Feb 2021

Corporal punishment

FOR a child born in our society, the cycle of violence begins early. The first taste of violence often comes at the...