ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Board of Approvals (BOA) for Special E conomic Zones (SEZs) on We dnesday formally approved three new SEZs, taking the total number of such areas in the country to 20.

The meeting was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan. According to an official announcement of the PM Office, the new SEZs were National Science & Technology Park, Islamabad, JW-SEZ China-Pakistan SEZ Raiwind in Punjab, and Dhabeji SEZ in Sindh.

This was the sixth meeting of the board which was attended by all the chief ministers through video link.

The meeting was also attended by Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Chairman of Board of Investment Atif Bokhari and other federal and provincial officials concerned. The meeting was informed about various incentives available for developers, codevelopers and zone enterprises in SEZs.It was decided that further consultations on SEZ Zone Enterprise Admission and Sale of Plot Regulations, 2020, would be completed within a month and proposals would be presented at the next meeting.

The meeting also approved a proposal regarding selection of two members from the private sector for inclusion in the Approvals Committee and appointment of two members from the private sector to be included in the composition of the Board of Directors of the SEZ authorities.

The prime minister directed officials concerned that provision of utilities such as gas, electricity in SEZs should be given top priority.

He also directed that a report indicating availability of required facilities at existing SEZs be furnished.

Speaking at a ceremony held to inaugurate Rashakai Economic Zone last month, Mr Khan had claimed that the country had entered the industrialisation phase and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would help boost the industrial sector.