KARACHI: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Minister for Industries Abdullah Karim Tordher has said that several industrial groups which originally belong to Karachi have been successfully operating their industrial units in KP which is a growing land of opportunities.
“We intend to establish 13 economic zones, of which work on seven economic zones has already begun whereas 19 industrial areas will also be established all over the province to make best use of indigenous resources and go for import substitution and enhanced exports,” he said this while speaking to members of the business community at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Tuesday.
Mr Tordher said that the business community could look for investing or undertaking joint ventures in development of gems, gypsum, mines and minerals, hunting arms, cold water fishing, hydro power, fruits and vegetables, organic fruits and tea which can be harvested on a huge land of 1,80,000 acres. “To encourage investment and industrialisation, the KP government has withdrawn around 17 different taxes,” he said.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ministers offer incentives, say provincial govt has withdrawn around 17 taxes
Speaking on the occasion, KP Finance Minister Taimur Saleem said that as the security situation is now much better in KP, the government has started offering a lot of facilities and incentives to boost investment and industrialisation in the province. The business community of Karachi, he added, must also take advantage of the situation by setting up their production units and investing in some of the most promising sectors of the KP’s economy.
He said abundant investment opportunities exist in the energy sector, including the hydro power generation, transmission and distribution while the tourism sector, which has risen sharply by at least four times this year, also offers abundant opportunities to the hospitality industry.
The KP government, he added, is setting up four tourism zones to attract investors for investing in the agriculture, mines and minerals, services and IT sectors.
He said KP is the only province in the country whose every single resident holds a health insurance cover of up to Rs1 million which is an opportunity for the business community associated with the health sector who can establish healthcare facilities in the province.
He further said that the KP government has also approved a $400 million project for setting up a road infrastructure from Peshawar to Torkham. “Our target is to improve road accessibility as we want to get road access beyond Afghanistan to Central Asia which, if achieved, would have an impact of $50 to $60 billion on Pakistan’s GDP”, he hoped.
Businessmen Group (BMG) chairman Zubair Motiwala said that in order to actually attract investment, the KP government has to ensure that investors receive more profitability as compared to what they have already been earning in Karachi, otherwise no businessman would be interested in setting up a unit in KP. “The investors must be guaranteed that they will get all industrial inputs like uninterrupted gas, water and electricity which they are not receiving here and this must be followed by an assurance that if they are earning 10 per cent in Karachi, they will get 20pc in KP,” he said.
Mr Motiwala also stressed the need for introducing Preferential Tariffs for gas and electricity which should be less than what is being paid in Karachi along with guaranteed uninterrupted supply. The KP government has to convince the federal government to give tax holidays for a period of five to 10 years in special economic zones being established in KP which should preferably be established by the private sector.
He said KP has a number of natural spots where dams capable of generating 21,000 megawatts of electricity can easily be constructed without major investment, massive construction and time. This huge amount of cheaper electricity generated via hydel power can be sold to rest of Pakistan and also to Afghanistan, he said.
KCCI president Mohammad Idrees urged the KP government to develop IT Parks and encourage the local manufacturing and assembling of IT-related products and other electronic equipment by giving them special incentives.
Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2021