Lahore, July 27, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Friday urged the government to facilitate the ailing cottage industry to offset the financial losses it has been suffering because of unprecedented and unscheduled electricity load-shedding and intervention by various provincial departments.
The LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh was talking to a 25-member delegation of cottage industry belonging to Daroghawala and Sultan Mehmood Road Industrial areas and headed by Chairman All Pakistan Cottage Industry and Small Traders Ghulam Sarwar Malik. Haji Sultan Mehmood Sabir, Haji Barkat Munir were prominent among the delegates.
The LCCI President while assuring the cottage industry delegation of his full support said that the LESCO Chief would be informed of the situation being faced by these small businessmen and would asked to ensure power supply for at least 8 to10 hours at a stretch.
The LCCI President said that the high rates of electricity being charged from them and longer hours power cuts have totally destroyed the small businesses therefore the government should come up with a package of incentives in shape of cut in electricity tariff and power outages duration. He said that it is beyond the understanding of the Lahore chamber of commerce and industry that why these clusters of the cottage industry have not so far been given the industrial area status.
He said that the government must understand the importance of cottage industry in the country as it is not only generating revenue for the government but also providing jobs to million of people. He said that it was very unfortunate that while preparing schedule for power cuts the LESCO authorities do not consult the stakeholders.
He said that Darogawala Industrial area that has yet not been granted the status of industrial area despite repeated assurances by the government is a hub of cottage industry and now-a-days these small businessmen are sitting idle only because of senseless power cuts by the LESCO.
The LCCI President also urged the provincial government to improve infrastructure in Daroghawala Industrial area as the roads in this industrial hub have completely destroyed.
The LCCI President also urged the provincial Labor department and relevant authorities to undertake a systematic review of the existing definition of the cottage industry in line with international parameters. The review is important given the change in economic realities in Pakistan and the needs of cottage industry.
He said that all the places where upto twenty people are working should be declared cottage industry instead of present strength of five workers. He said that around the globe cottage industry is considered the backbone of the economy and facilitated in all possible ways but in Pakistan the situation is the other way round.
Earlier, the delegation gave a detailed briefing to LCCI President over the challenges and the problems being faced by them. They said that City District Government should be asked to exempt autoparts cottage industry from Professional Tax and Corporation Tax as it was already exempted.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854