Landi Kotal: The former president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zahidullah Shinwari has suggested that a 10-year tax exemption package for tribal districts will help speed up development and attract investors, a news source reported. Shinwari is also the director of Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI).
He said that the tribal districts offer a lot of potential for investments in natural resources like copper, granite, chromite, and marble; besides tourism, agriculture, hydel power projects, and livestock. A clearly communicated 10-year tax exemption government policy for the districts will help in attracting them.
He further informed that the erstwhile FATA region had never been a tax-free zone. The local administration had imposed taxes on all items sold in the area, including life-saving drugs.
The ex-president lamented the fact that local entrepreneurs had always preferred to invest outside FATA because of these tax stipulations and lack of basic infrastructure.
He opined that if the government is looking to develop the tribal districts, a comprehensive regulatory framework should be devised – and the 10-year tax exemption provision announced.