ISLAMABAD: The colonisation of Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Faisalabad — the second special economic zone (SEZ) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor — has begun with a planned investment of Rs53.6 billion, the Board of Investment (BoI) announced on Friday.
The Allama Iqbal Industrial City SEZ Committee held its meeting and accorded approval to fifteen applications and allotted 320 acres of land for projects.
Colonisation is a technical term which means investors have started setting up their units in the industrial zone.
This is the second special economic zone under CPEC after Rashakai
The applicants include a Chinese firm Zhengbang Agriculture Pakistan (Private) Limited with a plan Rs800 million investment in the agriculture sector. Among others, fourteen local firms, Zahid Jee Textile Mills, Ocean Ceramics, and Ittehad Metals are to initiate business establishments worth Rs11.8bn, Rs11.2bn and Rs7.5bn respectively.
The first special economic zone under CPEC is located in Rashakai.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Vehari SEZ Committee approved its first zone enterprise. The colonisation of this zone started with admission of a firm Suraya Aslam Paper (Private) Limited to establish a project worth Rs100m.
The SEZ Committee of Rahimyar Khan allotted land and approved zone entry to Naseem Export Private Limited with a planned Rs4.5bn investment.
The application for zone enterprise entry and allotment of land were submitted and processed via SEZ’s MIS Module designed by the BoI recently. The module ensures transparency and facilitation and works as a one window operation, a vision of the government to ensure ease of doing business. Along with the allotment of land, these enterprises are now entitled to benefits offered to these zones, including custom duties and tax exemption under the SEZ Act 2012.
BoI Chairman Atif Bokhari, while appreciating the development, said the automation process of SEZs, envisioned by the prime minister, is now bearing fruit. The SEZ MIS Module was approved to facilitate investors to gain admission in zones and ensure transparency in allocation of plots in various SEZs, he added.
BoI Secretary Fareena Mazhar said that international investors could easily avail the opportunity to identify and select the potential locations for setting up their units in the SEZs.
Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2021