Senate of Pakistan approve the Special Economic Zones Bill initiate by the Board of Investment

Islamabad: The Senate of Pakistan has approved today (08-03-2012) the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill initiated by the Board of Investment (BOI).The draft Bill lays down a policy frame work for encouraging the establishment of Special Economic Zones to attract domestic and foreign investment is now ready to go to the National Assembly.

BOI has been working on the draft SEZ Bill in close coordination with the Provincial Governments including Gilgil Baltistan, FATA and other Stakeholders for over an year. The Council of Common Interests (CCI) in its meeting on the 27th August 2011 approved the draft Bill with consensus and support of the Provincial Governments for legislation.

As per the draft Bill, the SEZs can be set up by the federal government or any provincial government or by a private developer. The federal and provincial governments can also set up SEZs in collaboration with private developers.

The existing Industrial Estates and Zones in the country can also qualify for the SEZ status subject to the fulfilment of criteria mentioned in the law. The SEZs are expected to reduce the rising cost of doing business in the country and provide one-window facility to the entrepreneurs.

The purpose is to improve efficiency and competitiveness of the industry by creating industrial clusters of big industrial projects where the government is committed to provide infrastructures at the door step of the SEZs.

The Bill allows establishment of SEZ anywhere in the country over a minimum area of 50 acres. There are several incentives to the developers of SEZs and entrepreneurs setting up the industry in the Zone.

The developers and entrepreneurs will get one-time exemption from customs duties and taxes for all capital goods imported into Pakistan for the development of SEZs.10-years tax holiday both for SEZ developers and enterprises also allowed under the law.

Establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) through an Act of Parliament will be an achievement of the present democratic government of Pakistan. In the past the incentives given to the economic zones were changed with the change of regime.

To encourage the investment, the continuity of the policy is very important. The new law when enforced will bring about consistency in the government policies, allowing the investors to work without any apprehensions of changes or withdrawal of incentives given to them in the SEZs.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326

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