he meeting of sub-Committee on the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production was held at Parliament Lodges on Friday under the Convenership of Senator Fida Muhammad to examine the problems faced by the export processing zone of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Other who were present included Senator Falak Naz and Senator Hidayat Ullah and senior officers of the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Economic Zone Development and Management Company, PESCO along with all concerned.
The Committee reviewed details of the Risalpur Export Processing Zone (REPZ) and EPZA’s joint venture with Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Economic Zone Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC). The member panel were informed of the progress of the project and the challenges that ensued.
The Committee was informed that 92 acres of the EPZA had been developed and since export zones are exempt from GST on electricity, FBR has issued a letter to PESCO in this regard. It is expected that GST exemption should begin with the next billing cycle. The issue of uninterrupted power supply was taken up by the Committee, which remains a major challenge in development of REPZ. The Committee was informed that PESCO is in the process of providing an independent feeder for this purpose, which is due to be completed by December. Another option was that a connection is taken from PASDEC; this would take a month. The Committee directed that both parties get together and discuss modalities, after which details are to be submitted to the Committee.
In relation to restriction on export of trading goods to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republic, the Committee was informed that Ministry of Commerce has issued a notification allowing the export of manufactured goods via land route alone. Trading and warehousing were restricted. Clarification has been demanded by the Ministry of commerce in this regard. The facility incentive of trading via land route to promote business avenues will be reviewed in light of the decision of the ECC of the Cabinet.
Regarding dilapidated infrastructure of REPZ, it was recommended that KPEZDMC may be directed to implement the terms and conditions of the MOU regarding improvements. Routine infrastructure maintenance was stressed.