Investors lament lack of facilities at SEZs

FBR chairman nominates focal person to resolve tax-related issues at special economic zones

ISLAMABAD: Investors at the Bin Qasim Industrial Park and Korangi Creek Industrial Park have voiced against the absence of facilities at the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

In a meeting held with Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, the investors, among various issues pertaining to the provision of utility services and infrastructure at the zone, lamented the delay in the timely issuance of tax exemption certificates from the Federal Board of Revenue.

“The delay is causing inconvenience for businesses, as the investors remain indecisive about their investments,” they added.

FBR Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi on the occasion apprised the participants that he will nominate a dedicated focal person to coordinate with the investors so that their issue are resolved on time.

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The PM’s adviser highlighted the tax incentives provided to SEZs, including onetime exemption from customs’ duties and taxes on import of plant and machinery. Moreover, he added that the government has also given tax holiday for 10 years to all enterprises that would commence commercial production by 30th June 2020.

Beside tax incentives, the adviser emphasised, the incumbent government has also taken strategic decision by providing state-of-the-art infrastructure in SEZs so that the investors could contribute in the national economy by kick-starting commercial production at the earliest.

Dawood urged the businessmen to invest in the priority areas, which include textile, food processing, IT & IT equipment, logistics and automobiles sectors, in order to receive high returns on their investment at SEZs.

He also assured of complete facilitation to the investors from BoI. “All issues pertaining to taxation will be resolved and BoI will act as a single bridge between the investors and the government departments, including FBR.”

Earlier, in a letter sent to the Ministry of Industries, major investors at the Bin Qasim SEZ had complained that the investment in the new industrial units, which are nearing completion and are set to start operations at Bin Qasim Industrial Park (BQIP) without the provision of utilities their investment, would remain fruitless.

The investors at the zone claimed that they despite investing Rs35 billion in BQIP. They are facing delays in the completion of their plants, as all the utility services have not been provided to the SEZ.

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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