LAHORE: Local and foreign companies who wish to make investments and set up industries in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be exempted from taxes, Minister of State and Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Dr Miftah Ismail said on Tuesday.
Addressing the business community at the regional office of Federal of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said the government was also reviewing relaxations given to China under the Pak-China Free Trade Agreement as exports to Beijing are a mere $2 billion against imports of $18bn.
He said the BoI has recently conveyed to the federal government that provinces must not charge two taxes from investors. In the upcoming budget, the government will consider reducing number of taxes, he added.
Investors who want to set up textile units before June 2020 would be given special concession in taxes, he said.
He said in Bangladesh the government takes only 60 days in letting an investor to set up an industry with all utility connections and other procedures, but in Pakistan the same process requires 180 days which needs to be reduced to attract foreign and local investment.
Mr Ismail added the Cambodian government has assured Pakistani investors of clearing necessary procedures within 48 hours.
Talking about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said the project is an economic game changer.
He said that $34bn have been earmarked for power plants out of $52bn investment. Five power plants being installed in Punjab on the same terms and conditions which were allowed by Benazir Bhutto in 1994 and by Musharraf in 2002, he added.
FPCCI Regional Chairman and Vice President Manzoor ul Haq Malik suggested trade policies which facilitate exports should be adopted.
Abolishing advance tax on imported material and liquidity issues needs to be fixed on priority basis, he added.