Prime Minister Imran Khan receives briefing on Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AAIC) in Faisalabad on January 3, 2020.

ISLAMABAD: After the launch of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)’s first Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the populating of the second CPEC Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AIIC) Faisalabad begins with a planned Rs 53.6 billion investment.

In this regard, a meeting of the AIIC SEZ Committee was held on Friday, which accorded approval to 15 applicants and allotted land of 320 acres.

The applicants include a Chinese Firm Zhengbang Agriculture Pakistan Private Limited with a plan of Rs 800 million investment in the agriculture sector. Amongst the other 14 local firms, Zahid Jee Textile Mills, Ocean Ceramics, and Ittehad Metals will initiate industrial units worth Rs 11.8 billion, Rs 11.2 billion, and 7.5 billion respectively.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Vehari SEZ Committee approved its first zone enterprise. The colonisation of this zone started with the admission of a firm, Suraya Aslam Paper Private Limited, to establish a project worth Rs 100 million.

The SEZ Committee of Rahimyar Khan allotted land and approved zone entry to Naseem Export Private Limited with a planned investment of Rs 4.5 billion.

The applications for zone enterprise entry and allotment of land were submitted and processed via SEZ’s MIS Module designed by the Federal Board of Investment recently. The module ensures transparency and facilitation and works as a one-window operation—a vision of the government to ensure ease of doing business. Along with the allotment of land, these enterprises are now entitled to SEZ’s benefits, including customs duties and tax exemption under the SEZ Act 2012.

Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Atif R Bokhari, while appreciating the development, said that the automation process of SEZs, envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is now bearing fruit. The SEZ MIS Module was approved to facilitate investors to gain admission in zones and ensure transparency in the allocation of plots in various SEZs, he added.

Secretary BOI Fareena Mazhar stated that international investors could easily avail the opportunity to identify and select the locations for setting up their units in the SEZs. She said that the BOI will leave no stone unturned to provide timely facilitation, particularly for the availability of utilities to SEZs. She further said that the BOI will ensure the handholding of the investors and provinces at every stage of industrial development.

Hamza Habib is a senior journalist and former editor of who has previously worked for leading newspapers and TV networks of the country. He mainly writes on the economy and political issues.


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