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Businessmen can themselves setup SEZs on land upto 50acres: Aslam Iqbal

Punjab Industrial policy in cabinet for approval

High number of duties, taxes affecting competitiveness: Almas Hyder

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LAHORE: Businessmen can themselves setup Special Economic Zones (SEZs) provided the land should not be less than 50 acres the provincial government would endorse the SEZs for the federal government’s approval.

Industrialist and traders would be taken onboard for bringing about industrial revolution as this is the only section which can prove instrumental in increasing employment, collecting revenue and developing infrastructure.

He said that measures will be taken to bring in the untaxed sectors into the tax net while the Punjab Small Industries Corporation has developed three categories for soft loaning.

“Industrial policy for the province has been forwarded to the cabinet for final approval. Policy has one window operation, Special Economic Zones, Income Tax Holiday and zero duty on import of industrial machinery in its fold,” he said adding that industrial policy will help grooming of industrial sector.

He said that an industrial zone on 3000 acres in Faisalabad and Apparel Park on 1500 acres in Sheikhpura are being setup while special attention is being given on infrastructure.

A scheme is being prepared for reduction of intervention of the government departments in business activities. He said that Punjab government is ready to provide ever possible relief to the business community in duties and taxes, the minister stated.

He said that TEVTA is being revamped and technical education is being
brought under one umbrella. He said that exports enhancement and
imports reduction is one of the top priorities of the government.

LCCI President Almas Hyder said that Pakistan is fifth largest
populated country of the world but its ranking of competitiveness is
39th as compared to China and India at 1st and 3rd respectively.

Smuggling is eating up Pakistani market and this menace should be
removed with iron hands, he said adding that high number of duties and
taxes are also affecting our competitiveness. Business community of
Punjab is paying 118 different kinds of taxes.

Almas Hyder said that engineering sector is asset of Punjab and if it
comes into the export circle, it can get huge share in the
international trade of $ 6.5 trillion.

He said that textile and engineering sector are the largest employers
but textile sector is facilitated and engineering sector is being
ignored.

He said that this sector can play a fundamental role in bringing the
national exports to the mark of $ 100 billion.

The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice
President Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigal said that Punjab is the linchpin of
Pakistan’s economy and it has highest contribution in the GDP of the
country. If Punjab does well then Pakistan does well. It is need of
the hour to stimulate industrial growth, leading to higher GDP growth.

Secretary Industry, Muhammad Ali Mian, Sohail Lashari, Irfan Iqbal
Sheikh, Amjad Ali Jawa, Nasir Hameed Khan and others were also present
on the occasion.

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