ISLAMABAD - Minister of State Chairman Board of Investment Saleem H Mandviwala has said that in order to meet the challenges of global competitiveness and to attract investment, BoI has drafted SEZ Bill in consultation with all stakeholders for establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) throughout the country.

During an exclusive interview with TheNation he said, “I joined BoI in 2008 and never thought that achieving small tasks was that difficult as it is in the present system. He said that politicians have to face many hurdles in performing their duties as bureaucracy is the real ruler in the country and it is also scared of change so one way or another tries to delay it.

He told that he belonged to a business family and was known to Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and when Pakistan Peoples Party took the charge of government he was given the responsibility to run BoI.

Still he claimed that despite of all difficulties he had to face all the way, he had made Board of Investment almost independent by taking several steps those helped in generating own funds for the department.

He said that BoI generates 30-40 per cent of its budget by itself now and in the coming days it would increase. He told that under his supervision BoI for the very first time introduced Visa Fee for the foreign workers working in Pakistan that helps generating funds. The Bill has been approved by the Senate on 8th March, 2012 and has been presented to the Senate for approval. The enactment of the Bill shall open tremendous investment opportunities for both local and foreign investors and give confidence to the investor that there should be no change in the policies, regarding their investments, he said.

To make the investment climate more attractive, the investment policy 1997 has been revised. Mentioning another achievement he told that Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Government of Pakistan and Government of Sri Lanka regarding a Credit Line facility up to $200 million to Sri Lanka was signed on 11th February, 2012, for improving Pakistan’s exports.

Responding to a question regarding corruption he said, “Corruption starts from the upper level and I believe if the head of any department is not corrupt there will no corruption or will be near to zero level”.

Mandviwala also claimed that there was no corruption in his institution though there are chances for the corruption in every department and same is the case with BoI but he has maintained check and balance and nobody in his institution could be involved in corruption.

Saleem H Mandvivala further said that he was planning to double the pays of staff working in BoI as present salaries are not enough to avoid corruption in the long run.