In a first, Pakistan to develop Islands for the tourism purpose

The federal government has established Pakistan Islands Development Authority (PIDA) through a Presidential Ordinance that was signed into law on 31 August.

According to details, the primary purpose behind the creation of PIDA is to develop and maintain islands in the littoral waters of Pakistan as defined under the 1976 Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act. ------------------------------

PIDA’s function written in the preamble of the PO states:

Initiate and maintain a continuous process of reclamation and urban planning and identify immovable properties and projects suitable for the development of schemes within the internal and territorial waters of Pakistan.

*Structure of PIDA*

Prime Minister will be the Patron-in-Chief of the PIDA while a Chairman will spearhead the newly established authority for the creation and protection of islands.

The Patron-in-Chief will appoint both the Chairman and 11 members of PIDA’s policy board on the recommendations of a high-level evaluation committee.

Both PIDA’s Chairman and members will be appointed for 4-year terms. ------------------------------ *Functions of PIDA*

PIDA, under the powers conferred upon it by the federal government, will:

1. Recommend policies, laws, and actions to both the federal and provincial governments to increase the international competitiveness of industry, tourism, and commerce in the country’s maritime zones. 2. Propose financial incentives including exemptions from taxes and customs and excise duties to attract investors in the country’s littoral territories. 3. Promote the trade, investment, and logistic hubs, duty-free areas, and tourist destinations in the maritime zones of Pakistan. 4. Request the government to provide or procure immovable property or a project through acquisition, purchase, lease, or license via private agreement. 5. Prepare and approve a master or site plan, in accordance with the relevant zoning, spatial, town planning, infrastructure development, land use, and building control regulations, within the maritime zones of the country. 6. Formulate criteria for registration, membership, possession, transfer, and cancellation of immovable properties and projects. 7. Develop the procedure for allocation, allotment, lease, or auction of immovable properties and projects. 8. Maintain records of title, leasehold right, mortgage, easement, license, tenancy, and possession of all immovable properties and projects. 9. Collect levies, taxes, duties, fees, and charges on the transfer or possession of immovable properties and projects. 10. Raise funds through real estate investment trusts, bonds, sukuk, and other forms of finances obtained on the basis of participation term certificate, musharika certificates, term finance certificates, or any other financial or debt instruments or securities. 11. Obtain finances or loans from donor agencies, government bodies, and financial institutions. 12. Plan, approve, and execute mergers and amalgamation with other housing schemes or cooperative housing societies subject to the approval of the competent authorities. 13. Prepare feasibility studies for the development of a scheme or schemes and determine the mode of development.

Lastly, no court or any other authority will have jurisdiction to question the legality of any action taken by the PIDA.