ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has proposed that the government prepare the National Industrial Policy (NIP) for up to 20 years to ensure consistency and competitiveness.
In a letter to the Industries Secretary, Imdad Bosal, Executive Director of OICCI, Kashif Shafi referred to the OICCI letter of April 19, 2022 and “submitted preliminary comments on the policy of the petrochemical and plastics in response to sectoral policies shared by your office by letter dated March 15, 2022.
Following the previous letter, the OICCI has now submitted a detailed and comprehensive set of recommendations, including all previous submissions, on six of the fourteen identified sectors in which our members operate prominently. A detailed document has been shared with the ministry.
According to Kashif Shafi, industrial policy should explicitly define the objectives it wishes to achieve as well as the strategies to be adopted (the OICCI has suggested certain objectives in the document, for example the target ratio of manufacturing to GDP, the rates of annual growth targets for the sector, etc.).
The Chamber further argued that: (i) the policy should be adopted for longer periods of time (10 to 20 years) because industrial investment requires longer payback periods. This step will ensure policy coherence and the confidence of companies and foreign investors to develop their business cases; (ii) ensuring cost competitiveness (recommendations on incentives to reduce costs such as duty-free imports of new plant and machinery, tax credits, etc.); (iii) provision of infrastructure to improve supply chain connections (provision of utilities, access to lines of credit, etc.); and (iv) improving the ease of doing business (one-stop-shop solutions, automation, simplification of tax and reporting requirements, as well as regulatory procedures).
The OICCI submitted its recommendations on taxation, trade (import and export), supply of public goods and services, special economic zones (SEZs), in addition to policy recommendations specific to the sector, namely petrochemicals and plastics, food and agriculture, chemicals, cable and conductors, hydrocarbons and lubricants and refineries.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022