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PM announces package to make KEPZ attractive: no cess on raw material imports from July 1

KARACHI (May 23 2003) : Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has announced abolition of cess on imports of raw material and reduction in different charges relating to land and warehousing units from 17 percent to 58 percent to make investment at Karachi Export Processing Zone attractive.

These changes will be effective from July 1, 2003.

The prime minister, while announcing the incentive package for investors at a simple ceremony held at the EPZ on Thursday, said that the Sindh Government has acceded to the federal government's request to withdraw cess on import of raw material by the units in the zone.

It is currently being charged at the rate of 0.5 percent of the import value of the raw material.

He said: “This cess stands abolished from the next fiscal year.”

Among others Sindh Chief Minister Sardar Ali Muhammad Khan Mahar, Federal Minister for Production and Industries Liaquat Ali Khan Jatoi, Federal Minister for Petroleum Nauraiz Shakoor, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Brig Mansoor, Chairman Board of Investment Waseem Haqqie, and Federal Secretary Industries and Production Akram Shaikh were also present on the occasion.

The prime minister announced that security deposit for industrial plots has been reduced from $12 per square meter to $5 per square meter (58 percent reduction) and for warehousing and trading units from $35 per square meter to $5 per square metre (43 percent reduction).

The annual ground rent for industrial unit plots has been reduced from $2.5 per square meter to $1.5 per square meter (50 percent reduction) and for warehousing, trading and commercial units from $3 per square meter to $2.5 square metre (17 percent reduction).

The prime minister said: “The package is being announced to meet the long-standing demand of the investors in the Zone.”

He said that the government has done its job and it is now the responsibility of the existing units and investors to increase production and exports.

The premier said he reiterates once again that economic policies adopted by the previous government will continue uninterrupted.

The government will make all efforts to facilitate investors and other industrialists to carry on their business in free and competitive atmosphere.

Jamali said: “The industrialists and investors should not go into slumber after receiving the incentive package but concentrate on increasing the output.”

MORE INCENTIVES: The Prime Minister without spelling out the complaints of the industrialists and the investors against the ministry of commerce and other ministries said that he would come with more incentives and concessions provided they (businessmen) give result and show effects of the recently announced incentives.

“We are trying to straighten every thing,” he added.

He appreciated the improvement in the economy and quoted from some of the State Bank's figures and said that the continuation of the policies would make the national economy further strong.

“We will follow the present economic policies till its end and fulfil all our commitment with the World Bank, IMF and other donors.”

At the arrival of the Prime Minister, a briefing on setting up of a captive power plant by Sui Southern Gas Company was held.

Jamali gave concept clearance and said that the plant should encourage others to come forward with investment proposals.

The Prime Minister also performed the groundbreaking ceremony of access road to Port Qasim from Karachi from EPZ.

Earlier, Liaquat Ali Khan Jatoi, federal minister for industries, welcomed the prime minister and said that he would like to send a clear message to all the investors that the government would provide them all necessary help in setting up industrial units.

“We want industrial growth in the country and for that all facilitating steps would be taken to accommodate investors in the Zone.

Jatoi asked them to reduce cost of production and propose the way government can help them in doing so.

“Make your product competitive in the international market,” was his advice for the businessmen.

“It is necessary to study the market and aim at producing goods that can be sold in the international market on competitive price.”

He said that businessman Abdul Razzak Tabba is likely to come up with a power unit in the Zone. “We will encourage investment in the power sector at other places as well.”

He said he was mindful of red tape and similar bureaucratic rigmarole that hinder investment and shy away potential investor from Pakistan.

“We are going to have one window operation in the city for the investors. It will help them setting up their businesses in Pakistan.”

Chairman Export Processing Zone Colonel Akbar Hussain also spoke on the occasion.

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