Investors to get hefty incentives for industries in Special Economic Zone
Pakistani and Chinese investors, preparing to set up industry in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will get significant incentives including exemption from duties and taxes, concessional loans, land on instalments and the facility of one window operation to help them in dealing with federal and provincial departments.
According to an official document of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Secretariat, the Pakistani government has provided a policy package to attract potential investors including Chinese enterprises.
The incentive package includes one-time exemption from all customs duties and taxes on plant and machinery imported into Pakistan for installation in Special Economic Zones.
The investors will get an exemption from all taxes on income accruable in relation to the development and operation of the SEZs for a period of five years and an exemption from all taxes on income for enterprises commencing commercial production by June 30, 2020, in the SEZs for the next ten years.
Pakistan and Chinese governments in their 7th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting held in November last year decided to establish nine special economic zones in different regions.
The list of priority Special Economic Zones (SEZs) include: SEZ in Rashakai, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, SEZ Dhabeji Sindh, Bostan Industrial Zone in Balochistan, Allama Iqbal Industrial City (M3), Faisalabad in Punjab, SEZ Maqpoondas in Gilgit Baltistan, ICT Model SEZ in Islamabad, Port Qasim SEZ on Pakistan Steel land in Sindh, Mohmand Marble City in FATA and SEZ in Mirpur in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan will provide gas, electricity, water and other supporting facilities and working shelters in the industrial parks, set up under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
The package includes the provision of plots on instalments (50 per cent down payment and remaining 50 per cent in four biannual instalments).
The investors will also get the markup support at the rate of 50 per cent of the markup to a maximum of 5 per cent on the loans taken in Pakistani currency for financing the project. The support is to be provided by the respective governments for the zones in their jurisdiction. Freight subsidy of 50 per cent will be provided on the inland transportation of plant and machinery for installation in any of the priority SEZ.
Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) will put in place a one window operation and the respective provincial governments will delegate authority for implementing labour, environment and other laws and for the collection of local and provincial taxes or will depute representatives of the departments in SEZA office. The federal government departments including utility companies, Federal Board of Revenue and Securities and Exchange Commission will depute representatives to perform similar functions in the zone.
The developer shall also be allowed to purchase gas, electricity, and other utilities from utility providers in bulk and supply the same to the enterprises at rates that are duly notified by SEZA in consultation with the stakeholders.
The developer would also be allowed to rent out sheds for industrial use. To encourage upscaling of the industry so that it can become part of global supply chain, certain guidelines have been prepared by the government, to give a thrust to the industrialization process.