ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday signed the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill, 2012 after which it is expected that a network of such zones/industrial areas will be established in different parts of the country to facilitate local and foreign investors.
The bill was signed in a ceremony at the presidency to put in place a legal and regulatory framework for creation, development and efficient operation of SEZ in the country and to encourage domestic and international investors for promotion and establishment of industrial infrastructure, President’s Spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said.
“The president gave assent to a consensus law to ensure continuity of economic and investment policy and it would no longer be possible to change the policy without changing the law,” the spokesman said.
He quoted the president as saying that one of the major reasons for economic backwardness has been the frequent reversal of economic and investment policies with the change of the governments for political reasons.
In his address, the president congratulated chairman Board of Investment and his team on this landmark achievement and said that he was pleased to learn that the new law was based on consensus and has the ‘support of economic ministries, the private sector and all stake holders’.
“We believe in consensus and taking along all stake holders and the SEZ Bill 2012 is an example of this policy,” the president said.
It is believed that the law will help in reducing the cost of doing business and will increase exports. The president said that under the new law all capital goods, machinery and equipment will get one time exemption from the customs duties and the entrepreneurs will be exempted from income tax for ten years.
The president was quoted as saying: “Such laws have played a major role in the economic development of China, India, Thailand and other regional countries.”