Pak parliamentary committee on CPEC says SEZs will be futile if industries are not set up in time


03 June 2021 01:13 STI

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 3 (ANI): The Pakistani parliamentary committee on the China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) observed on Tuesday that the creation of special economic zones (SEZs) would be futile if industries were not established there in time.
The 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Commission on CPEC held under the chairmanship of the Member of the National Assembly (NAM) Sher Aftab Ali was informed that the issues relating to the sale and cancellation of plots in the SEZs must be resolved at the earliest so that the process of establishing SEZ industries could be accelerated, reported The Express Tribune.
The committee insisted on the need to move towards the ease of doing business in order to attract massive local and foreign direct investment to Pakistan.
The committee was briefed by the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Planning, the secretaries of the Ministry of Defense, the Investment Board, the Energy Division, the Petroleum Division, the Ministry of Railways and Other regarding security measures for projects under the CPEC, Mainline-1 (ML-1) project with particular emphasis on the ET component and updated progress on SEZs, reported The Express Tribune.
He stressed that the affected neighborhoods should incentivize the industries of the SEZs so that the SEZs established in Pakistan can compete with other countries in the region.

The committee, while receiving the briefing on security measures for projects under the CPEC, maintained that the problems encountered by SEZs in terms of security measures affect businesses, reported The Express Tribune.
The goals envisioned under CPEC cannot be achieved without local ownership. Therefore, the problems faced by residents in terms of security arrangements must be addressed at the earliest so that local ownership of CPEC projects can be guaranteed, the committee said, the Express Tribune reported.
When passing through security checkpoints, locals as well as tourists should be treated politely and their self-respect should be maintained.
The committee noted that the world is moving more and more towards the adoption of modern technologies. Adding an electric traction (ET) component to the Mainline-1 (ML-1) project after eight to 10 years would become obsolete and expensive.
Considering the huge benefit of the ET component in ML-1 in terms of return on investment, cost and environmental compatibility, “we need to move towards its adoption now and upgrade the existing infrastructure of the project towards electric traction, ”the committee said.
Meanwhile, the hype created by the Pakistani government in projecting the CPEC as a panacea for all problems is quickly running out of steam. Distressed local businessmen lament that Chinese investors are monopolizing major domestic industries, state assets and businesses to the detriment of Pakistani actors and interests.
Job creation for local youth is an important criterion in assessing the benefit of any foreign investment in a developing country. However, the CPEC has been a visible failure in this regard. (ANI)

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