Gwadar Master Plan: Special Economic District likely to get tax free status

By Yasir Habib Khan | Gwadar Pro Mar 19, 2022

GWADAR, Mar.19(Gwadar Pro) - Under Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, the proposed Special Economic District (SED) is likely to get tax-free status.

Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) has structured a draft seeking tax-free status for the proposed SED for the period of 30 to 35 years to be constructed under the Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan.

The draft aims to put in place similar benefits and perks to local enterprises as awarded to foreign investors and businessmen in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being established throughout the country.

Talking to Gwadar Pro, GPA Assistant Director Town Planning Abdul Razzaq said that the draft has been submitted to higher authorities for extensive deliberations hoping that the approval will make sure a level playing field for the local business community to prosper.

He said that under Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, officially notified in February 2020, the governance model (administrative setup) keeping in view micro detailed planning is undergoing rigorous brainstorming sessions by government authorities. Simultaneously, PC-I of business plan revision so as to assimilate further rules and regulations for micro land use in Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan is on the anvil, he added.

Another official of GDA said that GDA has also proposed financial allocation for Central Business District (CBD) designed to unleash high-tech economic activities under the approved Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan.

Encapsulating the details, he said that in the past old Gwadar Master Plan (2004 to 2014), around Rs 24 billion were earmarked. GDA capitalizing on the budget made the development from scratch, he added.

Out of total Rs 24 billion, around Rs 11 billion remained unspent and finally were lapsed. "We have requested the government in new PC-I of Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan to make available lapsed Rs 11 billion that was lawful money of GDA so that we make a head-start of development works as early as possible," he revealed. "It is also asked that hopefully using Rs 11 billion as seed money, GDA will develop Central Business District (CBD) of Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan that will help increase revenue generation to be used for further actualization of many development projects including commercial enclave, industrial enclave, business enclave, recreational enclave, residential enclave and may more," he went on saying.

"After tuning in the nitty-gritty of draft proposal seeking tax-free status, the presentation has been given to Government of Balochistan and President Arif Alvi," he added, saying that now GDA is waiting for positive response. According to the blueprint of Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, there are three terms—2025 as the first term, 2035 second term and 2050 third and last term.

Gwadar Port Authority Chairman Naseer Ahmed Kashani said that the Gwadar Smart Port City Master plan will prove to be a game-changer. "It will shape up Gwadar to materialize well-ordered trade with China, Central Asian countries and Afghanistan.

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