Khairpur SEZ: SBI believes gas supply will build trust in federal government

SBI says that the SEZs in Sindh have not been provided utilities since their approval in 2014. PHOTO: FILE

SBI says that the SEZs in Sindh have not been provided utilities since their approval in 2014. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Sindh Board of Investment (SBI) Chairperson Naheed Memon on Monday said the federal government’s decision to sanction 3.5 million cubic feet of gas per day for the Khairpur Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will build the trust between the central and provincial governments.

“It is a very positive move from the federal government,” an SBI press release quoted Memon as saying.

She said she had been informed by the Prime Minister Office that it already issued directives to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to allow the Khairpur SEZ to consume gas according to the law.

In June, the SBI accused the federal government of violating the Special Economic Zone Act 2012 by approving new SEZs in Punjab without providing utility services to the already approved zones in Sindh.

“The federal government should first provide all utility services guaranteed under the SEZ Act 2012 to the already approved SEZs in Sindh before giving approval to the new ones since there is shortage of electricity and gas in the country,” the SBI said in a statement issued in June.

The SBI says SEZs in Sindh have not been provided utility facilities since their approval in 2014. They include the Khairpur SEZ, Bin Qasim Industrial Park and Korangi Creek Industrial Park, Karachi.

The Khairpur SEZ is being established alongside eastern route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a value-addition hub.

It is being developed to provide a state-of-the-art platform for value addition to scores of industrial units, which will strengthen the economy, create jobs and reduce poverty in the northern part of Sindh.

The infrastructure development in the zone is almost 95% complete. In order to boost exports, the federal government had passed the SEZ Act 2012 for establishing the economic zones in different parts of the country.

The law guarantees the provision of gas to the approved SEZs. In addition to this, Article 158 of the Constitution provides legal cover to the argument that the discovery of any natural resource must first benefit the area where the discovery has been made.

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