KP’s industrial policy lays focus on pull factor
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Industrial Policy 2020 has laid focus on prioritizing and incentivizing industrial sectors and creating a `Pull Factor’ for investors to form joint ventures with local investors, invest in utilizing indigenous natural resources. “The policy supports human resource development, innovation and creates a supply chain to capitalize on the many potential opportunities available in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (including merged districts) to strengthen and make the environment competitive for investment and rejuvenate industrial sector,” reads the policy document recently passed from provincial cabinet. The key areas of focus and priorities of the KP government are structured under three pillars including revival & rehabilitation, growth and competitiveness. The policy also outlines key barriers and challenges under each pillar and makes recommendations to overcome those barriers while also achieving the overall objectives through actionable targets. According to the policy document, the KP government has laid a strong emphasis on developing a convenient and integrated platform for ease of doing business to facilitate prospective investors. Furthermore, with significant improvement in infrastructure due to investment made through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the investment climate in the province was extremely promising. A special focus was also being given towards the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Industrial Zones to create clusters of Industrial excellence to jumpstart the growth of industries. The policy core objectives were increasing competitiveness of the industrial sector in KP, to provide a conducive environment for collaboration to develop indigenous products and technology, promotion of SEZs, Cottage industry, utilize mines and mineral base of the province, create a critical mass quality & skilled human resources, encourage women and those from marginalized groups to participate in the workforce and to ensure that local population is the main beneficiary of the industrial development. The desired outcome through the implementation of industrial policy was envisaged as the establishment of 19 small industrial estates in ten years, the establishment of state of the art Common Facility & Training center in Darra Adamkhel in collaboration with Pakistan Hunting & Sports Arms Development Company, the establishment of district wise clusters of SMEs and Cottage industry. The Industrial Policy of KP has been made more effective by adopting an integrated and gender equality approach and pertinent connectivity is established with other existing policies. Disabled persons were also given due consideration in the policy by ensuring their inclusion in the workforce. Emphasis was on providing opportunities for training and development of disabled workforce as vocational and technical training would enable them to acquire and enhance their skills. Industrialization in the province would be steered towards the adoption of good labour practices where protection and a safe working environment for the labor would also be a priority and child labour would be discouraged. The incentives proposed in the policy are exemption from provincial electricity duty for new and expansion projects, initial installation facility for one-time duty and tax-free import of capital goods, exemption of tax on the transfer of sick unit property and repatriation of profit for foreign investors subject to prevailing laws and commitments. The non-financial incentives of the policy are: one-stop shop jointly operated by KPBOIT & KPEZDMC for licensing, registration, regulatory awareness & compliance. Simplification of documentation procedures for different purposes, encouragement of SMEs for branding their products and innovation-based diversification by SMEs through government-supported Research and Development. Supporting relocation of industries through the implementation of policy in the province would make the KP’s industrial sector compete at the national and global levels. – APP