ISLAMABAD: The South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) has invited the business community to explore investment opportunities in forestry sector in South Punjab, that offered one of the highest returns to the prospective investors. This was said by Hafiz Muhammad Owais, Director (Operations) SPFC while giving a detailed presentation on investment opportunities in afforestation in South Punjab.
He said Punjab Government has earmarked over 99,000 acres of land for afforestation and range management in 5 districts of Punjab i.e. Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and D.G. Khan. He said SPFC would support the investors in obtaining sanctioned canal water from the Irrigation Department. He said the investment in this sector would curb deforestation in Punjab and promote sustainable economic development of the country. He said business community should take full advantage of these lucrative investment opportunities by investing in forestry sector and thus contribute to promote the cause of grow green to earn green.
Speaking at the occasion, Khalid Malik, Senior Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that forest area in Pakistan has gone down from 3.3 percent of total area in 1990 to just 1.9 percent of total area in 2015, which was alarming. In comparison forest area was 22 percent of total area in China and 23 percent in India. He said the depleting forest cover in Pakistan showed that our country was heading towards serious deforestation phenomenon that would entail harmful consequences for the overall economy. He stressed that government should formulate new policies and offer attractive incentives to investors for investment in forestry sector.
He appreciated the initiative of Punjab Government for establishing South Punjab Forest Company to work for promoting public and private sector investments in the forestry sector so that deforestation could be reduced in Punjab. He was optimistic that the private sector would take benefit of the incentives being offered by the Punjab Government for investment in forestry sector. He assured that ICCI would play role for highlighting the package of Punjab Government for afforestation in South Punjab so that forest cover in the province could be further enhanced to ensure healthy and sustainable eco system for economic activities. Tahir Ayub, Vice President ICCI thanked SPFC for giving detailed presentation to the members of ICCI and assured that Chamber would extend full cooperation to SPFC in attracting maximum investment in forestry sector in Punjab.