Special Economic Zones
The Special Economic Zones (SEZ) is the bill that is approved by National Assembly of Pakistan on 13th July 2012. There is a long journey of SEZ from its recommendation to approval that comprises three years processing. Initially, ECC approved the processing started in 2008, but it took more two years for cabinet approval. After that, the matter was again held due to introduction of 18th amendment. Now CCI (Council of Common Interest) approved SEZ bill in August 2011. This approval was the preliminary stage for consideration of various government bodies such as standing committee on law, human rights and justice department. After getting approval from all these departments, this SEZ bill was approved by Senate in January 2012 that further leads to its approval by National Assembly on 13th July 2013.
The major objective of FEZ is attracting the FDI by meeting the global challenges of competitiveness. With this bill, it has become easy to develop the industrial collaboration with investors and ultimately reducing the cost of business to decrease the poverty level. The other objective of SEZ bill is ensuring transparency in economic policies and ultimately restoring the economic confidence.
- SEZ covers the entire territory of Pakistan and dominates other laws that are already implemented in any area.
- On import of capital goods, the enterprises of SEZ are exempted from custom duties.
- The duration of exemption from taxes is 10 years.
- Just approval is not good enough to implement this act, the rules and regulations must be in accordance to BOI and concerned SEZ authorities.
- The impact of implementation of SEZ laws can be seen clearly upon domestic and international investors. There are huge chances of getting benefits from investor countries such as Korea, China and Japan. These countries are expecting to get more benefit from the scheme as it becomes operational. However, a proper and concise framework is required to implement this scheme from gross root level to high level. In this regard, there is need of requesting the provincial governments to initiate the process once the rules are framed.