Karachi, June 15, 2016 (PPI-OT):Ms. Naheed Memon, Chairperson, Sindh Board of Investment has demanded to first provide all the utilities which are guaranteed under SEZ Act 2012 to the approved Special Economic Zones in Sindh before any new application of SEZ is considered keeping in view the shortage of gas and electricity resources.
It is pertinent to mention here that the utilities have not been provided to already approved SEZs in the province of Sindh since their approval in 2014. The three Special Economic Zones are Khairpur Special Economic Zone (KSEZ), Bin Qasim Industrial Park (BQIP) and Korangi Creek Industrial Park (KCIP).
Khairpur Special Economic Zone is being established at Khairpur alongside the Eastern Route of China – Pakistan Economic Corridor as a Value Addition Hub. It is being developed to provide state that of the Art Platform for Multiple Value Addition Industrial Units which will strengthen the economy, create jobs and reduce poverty in the North Sindh region. The development work on the overall infrastructure is almost 95% completed.
It is stated that the federal government, as a measure to boost exports from the country has passed Special Economic Zone Act 2012 to establish Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in different parts of the country. It is further stated that the potential investors have requested the gas availability to initiate the setting up of their establishments within the zone.
It may further be mentioned that the federal law (SEZ Act-2012) guarantees the provision of gas connection to the approved SEZ. In addition to this Article 158 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan provides a legal cover that the discovery of any Natural Resources must first benefit the area where the discovery has been made.
In view of the Article 158, District Khairpur in the province of Sindh produces 350 MMCFD, whereas the requirement of gas at KSEZ is only 3.5 MMCFD despite being very low requirement is not being extended which is a violation of the law.
It is mentioned here that the matter of Gas Connection has been raised many times with relevant federal ministries, Federal Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Board of Investment, Islamabad being the custodian of all SEZs have also been approached for the resolution of this matter but there has not been any positive step to provide the utilities.
In accordance to the following references, the any zone after being declared with SEZ Status is constitutionally eligible to get all the utility connections including Natural Gas:-
SEZ Act 2012: Article 27-(1)-(i) on Public Utilities and Transportation Links states, “unless provided otherwise in the development agreement, it shall be the responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure the provision of Gas, Electricity and other utilities at the designated Zero Point of each SEZ” and
SEZ Rules 2013: Chapter VI (9) (14), Item No. 6 (Natural Gas) states “The Federal Government shall ensure the provision of gas supply with required gas pressure to meet fuel demand”.
It is mentioned that the 3rd meeting of Approval Committee was held in Islamabad on 9th June, 2016 under Board of Investment Pakistan. In this meeting, heads of Board of Investments of all Provinces and other key stakeholders were presented. The Chairman BOI Islamabad Mr. Miftah Ismail has approved the applications submitted by Punjab for three new SEZ despite objections and non endorsement of Sindh Government. The three SEZs submitted by Punjab are as follows
1 Value Addition City Faisalabad 225 Acres 2 Quaid Azam Apparel Park Lahore 1536 Acres 3 Industrial City Faisalabad 4356 Acres
No gas is extended to already approved SEZs in Sindh due to limited resources. The available/ limited gas resources will be diverted to the above industrial Parks. The existing SEZs should first be supported fully by the federal government before any new SEZ is approved anywhere in Pakistan.
For more information, contact:
Information and Archives Department
Directorate of Press Information
Government of Sindh
95-Sindh Secretariat 4-B, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-99204423, +92-21-99204401