Economic zones needed


Economically speaking, the upper and lower districts in my home province Sindh have a wide variety of dynamic sectors, various opportunities for private and joint businesses, private-public partnerships, numerous multi-sectoral development projects, as well as a talented and hard-working labour force. These districts in the province also stand out in the country for the countless investment opportunities that they have to offer but unfortunately due to lack of political will and integrity, private sector dynamism and integrity and also due to lack of civil service efficiency (as these are key forces that enable the economy to attain accelerated development), such initiatives have not materialised. The present coalition government conceived a few such projects in the beginning of their days in the government, but no progress was made and the situation is still dismal.
The northern districts in Sindh province appear to hold great potential for the establishment of the economic zones. The Sindh Government should establish at least two large special economic zones as a “matter of priority” for both export-oriented and domestic consumption-oriented industries. These multi-facility zones may be set up in Larkano, Khairpur Mirs, Jacobabad, Naushehro Feroz etc. because labour and raw material costs are very low there. Also, the province is the “powerhouse” of Pakistan because it produces more than 71% percent of the total oil and gas of the country. Thus, the northern districts in the province are ideal for being declared as zones for the production of energy sources.
This initiative will create much-needed jobs and seriously dent mass unemployment and provide jobs for millions of poorly skilled and inexperienced young people in these areas. The president is appealed to direct the provincial government to take the right steps and to set up economic zones in the said districts of the province at the earliest. The sooner, the better as these districts have a wealth of untapped resources.