CM GB highlights investment potential in tourism and other sectors, Assures work on Diamer Bhasha Dam to start in 2017

Islamabad, December 20, 2016 (PPI-OT):Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman, Chief Minister, Gilgit Baltistan has said that his region has tremendous potential for tourism but lack of good hotels was a major constraint and urged that private sector should come forward to invest in tourism in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) to achieve lucrative results. He was addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said tourism was rapidly growing industry in the world with largest share in the GDP of 27 countries. He said inflow of tourists was on the rise as during this year 3500 foreign tourists visited GB with 20 to 25 thousand annual flow of domestic tourists. He said 3 five star and 4 three star hotels were needed in GB to facilitate tourists. He said GB government was providing tax exemptions on the import of machinery and equipment for mining, hotel and packaging industries. He said government would provide electricity to industry @ Rs.5.50 to Rs.6/unit and urged that local investors should take benefit of these concessions to enhance investment in this region.

He said GB has the potential to generate 40,000 MW hydropower, but successive governments ignored this potential. He said PM was focusing on better development of this region and added that work on Diamer Bhasha dam will start in 2017 as 48,000 acre land for this project has been acquired. The project would cost US$ 14 billion and will generate 4800 MW hydropower. He said a regional grid would be constructed at a cost of Rs.25 billion and a transmission line from GB to Fateh Jhang at a cost of US$ 3 billion to connect GB with national grid. He said only 10 percent work for the development of GB has been done so far and 90 percent still remained. He said GB government would focus on policy making and would give major role to private sector for economic development. He urged that business community should play role in the growth of business activities in this region, which is still unexplored and assured that his government would act as a facilitator for them.

Speaking at the occasion, Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that ICCI would play role in highlighting investment potential of GB at every relevant forum to attract investment to this region. He said a Special Economic Zone under CPEC would be developed in GB and stressed that investors of Potohar Region should be given a special package for investment in the said Zone. He said road network needs improvement in GB and government should give land on lease for long-term period so that investors could make investment with confidence. Khalid Malik Senior Vice President, Tahir Ayub Vice President ICCI, Zafar Bakhtawari, Ejaz Abbasi, Naeem Siddiqui and others also spoke at the occasion.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950