$5.5 billion annual target envisaged: investment Policy approved by Prime Minister

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Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has approved Investment Policy 2013 prepared by the Board of Investment (BOI), envisaging $5.5 billion annual investment target.

Talking to Business Recorder, Minister of State for Finance and BOI Chairman Saleem Mandviwala stated that the policy would now be submitted to the Cabinet for approval.

The Prime Minister who chaired the 6th BOI Board meeting on Wednesday also approved Investment Strategy 2013-17 for implementation of the policy. Mandviwala stated that there was no limit with respect to investment in the policy. The Prime Minister directed the BOI to evolve a mechanism to become more effective in facilitating investments in the country. He regretted it was ironic that Pakistan, which had one of the best investment policies on paper, failed to attract foreign investment. The meeting held detailed discussion on ways and means to attract investment which is critical to growth of the economy.

Raja added that the present process of approval of projects was cumbersome and involved a large number of departments before a project could see the light of the day. This, he said, was discouraging investors and needed to be simplified. "We need to work on a one-window system where the investors could be provided all necessary information and facilities," remarked the Prime Minister.

He directed the bureaucracy to work on simplification of procedure by revisiting the existing processes without compromising transparency, so that investors were comforted. Representatives of the private sector assured the Prime Minister that they are prepared to share their experience and expertise to ensure implementation of government''s investment-friendly policies. The minutes of the 5th BOI Board meeting, appointment of professionals and details of expenditure incurred from Board of Investment fund so far were confirmed during the Board meeting.

The new members from the private sector who participated in the Board meeting included Haroon Rasheed Shaikh, Vice President FPCCI, Atif Bajwa, CEO Bank Alfalah, Syed Faisal Hussain Naqvi, Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan, Captain Ijaz Ali Faizi, CEO Vision Air, Muhammad Abdullah, Chairman Sapphire Group, Javed Saifullah Khan, Chairman Saif Group of Companies, Agha Shahid, Chairman Pakistan Mining Exploration Corporation and Munir Kamal, Chairman Karachi Stock Exchange Board.

The Board also discussed Investment Policy 2013 which was drafted by the BOI in consultation with all stakeholders. Similarly, the Board also discussed a draft Strategic Policy 2013-17. It was also resolved during the Board meeting after detailed discussion that the draft Investment Policy 2013 and Investment Strategy 2013-17 would be sent to the Cabinet. The meeting was also attended by Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Dr Nadeem ul Haq, Minister of State for Finance/Chairman Saleem H Mandviwala and other senior officials.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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