Call for joint budget proposals of Chambers of Commerce

LAHORE: Chambers of Commerce & Industry should come up with joint proposals for the federal budget which would help in formulating business-friendly policies.

The suggestion was jointly presented by the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Nasir Hayat Magoon and Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) President Mian Tariq Misbah during

a meeting at LCCI on Tuesday. LCCI Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan, Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, FPCCI Senior Vice President Khwaja Shahzeb Akram, FPCCI former President Mian Anjum Nisar, LCCI former President Muhammad Ali Mian, Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Executive Committee Members also spoke

on the occasion.

The FPCCI President said that public-private partnership was the best solution to the problems being faced

by the business community and was also a good recipe for economic revival of the country. He said that stakeholders must be taken on board while formulating trade and industry related policies. He said that business community wanted to pay taxes but a well consulted method should be adopted.

He called for a level-playing field not only for exporters but also for the domestic industry. He said that improving exports’ performance remained the most relevant long-term structural challenge to alleviate the balance-of-payments constraint for sustained economic growth. He suggested the relevant government departments to join hands with the private sector for finding a methodology for increasing the exports of the country.

The FPCCI President said that cottage industry was backbone of the economy. He said that land should be allocated for the cottage industry.

LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that COVID-19 had changed the shape of economy. During the year 2019-20, growth rate of GDP and large scale manufacturing sector remained negative 0.4 per cent and negative 7.8 per cent respectively.

He said that in order to tackle the current challenges, a new and concrete strategy had to be worked out.

He said that joint budget proposals would go a long way.

The LCCI President said that exorbitant cost of land in industrial estates was hampering the process of industrialization, adding that cost of land should be brought down.

The LCCI President added that the government should zero customs duty on all raw materials which were not manufactured locally while it has also been proposed to the government that regulatory duty and additional customs duty on these raw materials should also be abolished. He said that joint efforts are of utmost importance to get these proposals implemented.

“In order to strengthen the industrial sector, testing labs and certification facilities need should be improved,” Mian Tariq Misbah said and added that state-of-the-art testing laboratories should be set up in Lahore and other cities through Export Development Fund while existing testing laboratories should be upgraded. He said that it would enable pharmaceuticals, engineering, Halal food, leather, rice and other sectors to comply with the international standards.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that engineering, pharmaceutical and other export-oriented sectors should be given equal incentives to give a quantum jump to the national exports.

He suggested that Lahore Chamber and the FPCCI should jointly hold virtual international conferences which would be very helpful in promoting trade and investment. He said that the improvement in networking of FPCCI with Federation Chambers of other countries would have very good results while also helping in finding new markets for Pakistani products.