PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkwha is going to be the hub of industrial and special economic zones within the next two to three years as foreign and local companies are taking a keen interest in potential sectors of the province. As many as 16 industrial estates will be made operational by declaring them special economic zone status that will connect them with the multi-billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This was stated by Chairman of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company Ghulam Dastagir while briefing media persons about initiatives towards industrialisation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Flanked by Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Secretary Industries, Ms Farah Hamid and the company Chief Executive Officer, Mohsin M Syed, he claimed that they are focusing on market-based labour force. For this purpose, more than 30,000 people will be trained and employment opportunities will be created for more than 0.2 million people across the province.After investors’ trust is rebuilt, he said foreign and local companies would take a keen interest in making investments, adding that they had already received a pledge from foreign companies regarding acquiring lands at various estate zones in the province. He said that KPEZDMC had shown tremendous progress in a short span of time, and had taken enormous initiatives toward industrialisation, especially creation of maximum employment opportunities in KP. Talking about the absolving the Sarhad Development Authority into the KPEZDMC, he assured they would not lay off employees of the devolved SDA. However, he made it clear that if any person could not deliver appropriately, then wouldbe expelled from the company.After assigning special economic zone status to Hattar Industrial Zone, he said the company had gained overwhelming response as pledges for land investment flowed in for companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He said nearly 200 investors applied for lands in the zone, due to which Hattar Industrial zone has been expanded to 1000 acres. “We have chalked out a plan to carry out intensive economic activities across the province” Mr Dastgir said, adding that the top priority is to provide one-window operation services to investors. He said they are trying to provide all kinds of facilities to companies to attract local as well as foreign investment in the province. For this purpose, he said the company had developed an online-application system.The company chairman said they will produce market-oriented and trained labour force to industries, in order to save time and avoid the heavy expenditure of the training program. He assured the people would get employment opportunities after completion of training in various skills. Ghulam Dastgir said the federal government had allocated 100mmcfd quota due to vigorous efforts by the incumbent provincial government, adding that around 700mega watts of electricity would be produced from the allocated gas quota. He said a project would be initiated to produce 225 MWelectricity for Hattar, Rashkai and Kohat industrial estates under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) venture. He hoped the intiative would help supply uninterrupted electricity to the three industrial zones.Explaining about the status of other industrial zones, he said they had received applications for 300 acres despite the finalisation of a master plan of Rashkai industrial zone. He said the Hattar and Rashkai industrial zone would be run under a flagship programme wherein social housing and special labour residential schemes at specific areas would be established.When asked about the stagnation in the existing industries, he said the situation was rapidly improving after the successful military operation Zarb-e-Azb in tribal region, due to which confidence of investors has been restored. He expressed the hope that they would able to attract Rs 200-300billion investment during the next three years in the province.