The National Assembly was informed on Thursday that nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to be established under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are open for all investors including foreigners and local investors.
Responding to the queries of members during question hour today, Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Development Dr. Ibadullah said Pakistani investors will specially be encouraged to invest in the economic zones through joint ventures. He said one zone will be established in each province including FATA, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan. He said work on FATA special economic zone which envisages development of marble city in Mohmand has been started.
Dr. Ibadullah said that the federal government will develop an industrial park on Pakistan Steel Mills Land at Port Qasim near Karachi.
Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan told the house that the government has set agri credit disbursement targets at 1001 billion rupees for the current fiscal year. He said the government is giving importance to the development agriculture sector and to bring improvement in the lives of farmers. He said that Zarai Taraqiati Bank has reduced interest rate and the matter to further reduce it will be considered in the next budget.
The members on a calling attention voiced concerns over the depicting of Gilgit-Baltistan as part of India instead of Pakistan in Google and other internationally recognized maps.
Responding to the concerns, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch said that anti-Pakistan elements are behind such evil moves. He said India spares no effort to embarrass Pakistan at the world forums. He, however, said the foreign office is alive to the matter and taking steps to protect the country's interests and discourage the elements involved in conspiracies against Pakistan.
The Minister pointed out that internationally recognized maps supported by the UN indicate Gilgit Baltistan as a disputed territory between Pakistan and India. However, he said our maps show the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan as part of Pakistan.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab laid before the house the first Quarterly report of State Bank of Pakistan on the state of economy.
The House has now been prorogued.