LAHORE: The Punjab government has appointed two persons, representing industry, as members of the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA).

With the appointment of two independent members, the constitution of the authority has been completed, paving way for it to take policy decisions on SEZs independently, Dawn has learnt.

“It is mandatory to take two persons from the private sector (industry) for the SEZA. So with their appointment, the constitution of the authority has been completed. The other represent the senior officials concerned from public sector as ex-officio members,” Jalal Hassan, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) CEO, told Dawn.

According to a notification, the two members, appointed by the chief minister for the authority included Mr Sohaib Sheikh, director (consumer marketing and corporate communications, Highnoon Group) and Mr Salim Hamani, proprietor, ALIEL / Gemological (gemology, diamonds and coloured stones), Gemological Institute of America (Italy). The appointment of these members will be effective immediately.

It merits mentioning that the authority had been made under an act promulgated on Sept 13, 2012. Later, in the same year the SEZ rules were also notified.

The law has enabled federal or provincial governments to constitute SEZAs themselves or in collaboration with the private sector under different modes of public-private partnership or exclusively through the private sector.

The fiscal benefits under the SEZ law include a one-time exemption from customs duties and taxes for all capital goods imported into Pakistan for the development, operations and maintenance of a SEZ (both for the developer as well as for the zone enterprise) and exemption from all taxes on income for a period of 10 years.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022

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