7 SEZs notified, approved by BOI

The Board of Investment (BoI) has approved and notified seven Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in three provinces in the country.

Out of total seven SEZs, three are being established in Sindh: Khairpur SEZ Sindh (140 acres) has been notified for agro-based industry and date processing units. Bin Qasim SEZ at Pakistan Steel Mills, Karachi has 930 acres of land. It will have light engineering, auto vendors, steel fabricating units, chemical and food, pharmaceuticals, electrical and consumer goods, furniture and wood working industry.

For consumer goods, food and pharmaceuticals, garments, value added textile, light engineering, packaging and printing, warehouses and logistics, the BoI has notified Korangi Creek SEZ, having 140 acres of land.

In Punjab, three SEZs have been notified. These are Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park (1,536 acres) located at M-2 (Lahore–Islamabad Motorway) at a distance of two kilometers from Sheikhupura Interchange, M3 Industrial City (4356 acres) located on Trade Corridor of Pakistan along Motorway M-3 South near Sahianwala Interchange, 20 kilometers from Faisalabad and Value Addition City (VAC), a 225 acre facility located about 20 kilometers from Faisalabad city and 1.5 kilometers off Sheikhupura–Faisalabad Expressway.

These SEZs will serve textile and cotton, engineering and construction, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, food and beverages, and information technology units.

There is one notified SEZ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at Hattar Phase-VII of 424 acres and it will be used for mining, marble and fruit processing units.

Provincial governments of Punjab and KP have acquired land for development of these SEZs, however there are some issues in Sindh. In case of Korangi Creek industrial Park, title of land is still with Pakistan Industrial Development Company, the parent company of National Industrial Park. For Bin Qasim Industrial Park, land was acquired from Pakistan Steel Mills but title of land was not transferred to Bin Qasim Industrial Park. The PSM and NIP have signed an agreement through which land will be transferred to the zone enterprises.

These special economic zones will be completed by 2018-19 and will help attract foreign direct investment due to attractive investment friendly policies and tax breaks. They will offer numerous benefits to zone enterprises including 10-year income tax holiday and one time duty free on import of capital goods in the SEZ.

Industries operating in the SEZs will have an immediate access to high-quality infrastructure, uninterrupted power supply, public facilities and support services along with simpler business and establishment rules and expedited administration.