LAHORE: Punjab IC&T Minister Sheikh Allaudin on Thursday said that due to the “incompetence and lack of interest” of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government, not even a single industrial township was completed in KP.
“Under the 2016 Industrial Policy of the KP, it was promised that 18 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and 9 small industrial estates will be constructed, but like its promise of making several dams, the industrial policy of the KP government has also proved to be a lie,” he said while adding that the KP Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC) failed to bring “even a single-dollar” foreign investment.
“For the establishment of new SEZs, a budget of more than Rs30.48 billion was estimated. The KPEZDMC had to establish an SEZ in Hattar for which it had an area of 424 acres,” he said.
On the other hand, Allaudin said, the Punjab government had set up industrial estates throughout the province, and Punjab’s industrial structure was a combination of different Industrial SME Clusters. The minister also said the multitude specialisation in the production of different goods geographically spread from Lahore to Sialkot, Faisalabad to Sargodha and Multan to Rahim Yar Khan.
He said that among major achievements of Punjab’s industry were the Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park (QAAP) that would help to create about 250,000 new jobs in Punjab and it would also help attract foreign direct investment, the Chief Minister’s Self Employemnt Scheme (CMSES) that since 2011 had been providing interest free financial assistance on soft term basis up to Rs50,000 to the unemployed youth of Punjab preferably skilled/ semi-skilled persons for businesses and setting small enterprise, the Punjab Skill Development Programme – launched with an aim to produce two million skilled workers up till June 2018, and the Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Scheme under which, credit would be available for new as well as existing SMEs on easy terms and conditions.