The sub-committee on the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production was Friday told that general sales tax (GST) exemption on electricity for Risalpur Export Processing Zone (REPZ) should begin with the next billing cycle.
The meeting of the committee was held at Parliament Lodges under the Convenership of Senator Fida Muhammad to examine the problems faced by the export processing zone of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The committee reviewed details of the Risalpur Export Processing Zone (REPZ) and Export Processing Zones Authority’s (EPZA) joint venture with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zone Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC).
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 the 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 Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) which would take a month. The committee directed both parties to get together and discuss modalities and submit details to the committee.
Concerning restrictions on the export of trading goods to Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republic countries, the committee was informed that the Ministry of Commerce has issued a notification allowing the export of manufactured goods via land route alone. Trading and warehousing were restricted and a clarification has been demanded from the Ministry of Commerce in this regard. The facility incentive of trading via the land route to promote business avenues will be reviewed in light of the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet.
Regarding the dilapidated infrastructure of REPZ, it was recommended that KPEZDMC may be directed to implement the terms and conditions of the MoU regarding improvements. The committee stressed routine infrastructure maintenance.
Senator Falak Naz, Senator Hidayat Ullah, and senior officers of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zone Development and Management Company and Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) also attended the meeting.