Dr. Miftah Ismail, Minister of State and Chairman Board of Investment said that with the energy reforms and positive initiatives of the current government, electricity load shedding from Pakistan would end by November 2017. He said for the last 70 years, only 23000MW installed capacity of electricity was achieved in Pakistan while the current government has started many energy projects due to which 25000MW electricity would be generated in Pakistan. He said this while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said another LNG terminal would be operational by July or August this year and LNG gas supply would be enhanced from 600MMBTU to 18000 MMBTU that would reduce gas shortage from the country. He said government was exploiting cheap energy sources to bring down gradually the cost of electricity that would also reduce cost of doing business in Pakistan and make our industry more competitive. He was hopeful that new gas connections for industry would be opened by August this year.
Dr.Miftah Ismail said that level playing field would be provided to the Pakistani and Chinese investors in CEPC projects and interest of local business community would not be compromised. He said zero income tax and zero duty on import of machinery would be available to investors for investing in S EZz under CPEC for a certain period while government would ensure supply of electricity and gas to the investors. He said if private sector was interested in developing industrial zones under CPEC, government would encourage it. He Invited ICCI delegation to his office for consultation regarding the establishment of ICT Model Industry Zone in Islamabad under CPEC.
Speaking at the occasion, Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that due to lack of new industrial zone in Islamabad, many industrialists were shifting to other provinces and stressed that BoI should accelerate efforts for setting up ICT Model Industrial Zone in Islamabad under CPEC in consultation with ICCI to encourage industrialization. He said FDI and exports in other regional countries were on the rise while Pakistan was witnessing decline in FDI and exports. He stressed that government should make exports and investment friendly policies in consultation with private sector to arrest this unhealthy trend.
He stressed that BoI should keep ICCI in loop about investment opportunities and JVs in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy so that FDI could be promoted in Pakistan with joint efforts. He said that Pakistan Railways in cooperation with ICCI had set up a dry port in Islamabad in 2005. He stressed that government should further expand the said dry port to meet the future business needs in the scenario of CPEC.
Khalid Malik Senior Vice President ICCI welcomed the Chairman Boi. Tahir Ayub Vice President ICCI, Khalid Javed, Mian Akram Farid, Nasir Khan, Zafar Bakhtawari, Naeem Siddiqui, Khalid Chaudhry and others also spoke at the occasion.