BoI approves SEZ status for Allama Iqbal Industrial City 

ISLAMABAD: The Approval Committee of the Board of Investment on Thursday okayed ‘Special Economic Zone’ status for the Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AIIC), Faisalabad, and referred the applications of JW SEZ and Dhabeji SEZ for consideration of the Board of Approvals, chaired by the prime minister.

According to details, the committee reconsidered the zone application of AIIC and approved the SEZ status, subject to completion of all formalities.

The approval committee also gave a go-ahead to the constitution of SEZ committees of AIIC, Bostan and Hub, allowing thereby the sale of plots in the respective zones as soon as the notification was issued.

The SEZ committees would be tasked to administer and enforce SEZ benefits and rules as well as provide facilitation between the SEZ, its enterprises and the government.

The ‘Draft Sole Enterprise SEZ Regulations’ and ‘Draft Sale of Plot Regulations’ were referred to the board of approvals for a final nod.

As per the documents, the draft Sole Enterprise SEZ Regulations would provide clarity on procedural guidelines and proposes certain parameters in addition to the zone approvals criteria provided in the SEZ Act and Rules to safeguard the socio-economic interest of the country and provide passage to only serious investors for the establishment of single-unit SEZs.

Likewise, the draft Sale of Plot Regulations aims at providing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to safeguard the interest of the zone enterprises while considering their applications by the SEZ Committee for admitting or otherwise into a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), and subsequent sale, lease or sub-lease of plots.

Presiding over the meeting, BOI Chairman Arif R Bokhari said that significant progress has been achieved on SEZs development and colonization during the last few months. “The teamwork by the federal and provincial government, particularly the efforts of the project management unit for Industrial Cooperation (CPEC-ICDP) of BOI, was helping us to remove the hurdles that are hindering the progress.”

The chairman vowed that BoI would fully cooperate and ensure efficient policy formulations at the highest level.

Bokhari said that industrialization of Pakistan was the top agenda of the prime minister, and all-out efforts would be made to realize the vision by expediting the population of special economic zones in the country.

BOI Secretary Fareena Mazhar, while briefing the committee, said that the first private SEZ was recommended for consideration of the board of approval, which would lead to a healthy competition between the public and private zones.

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Ghulam Abbas
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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