Islamabad, July 09, 2013 (PPI-OT): Past approach of ignoring business community in decision making has cost the economy dearly and it is high time that government should adopt a business friendly approach and give enhanced role to business leaders in policy making process for steering the economy out of current challenges, said Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed while addressing members of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry at ICCI. He was accompanied by PML Central Secretary Finance Imtiaz Ranjah, Deputy Secretary Information Mustafa Malik and PML KPK President Intikhab Khan.
He said the next century is the century of Asia as power balance is shifting from West to East. In this scenario, private sector has to play bigger role in national affairs and there is a need to change mindset to address businessmen problems on priority and give them major role in promoting the economy.
He said China has decided to play role for the economic development of Pakistan and help in resolving its energy crisis. He said China uplifted 500 million people out of poverty by adopting free market economy and Pakistan should learn from China’s experience to reduce its poverty. He said two rapidly growing Chinese cities Kunming and Kashgar should be the special focus of Pakistan as they offer great potential for trade and exports.
Senator Mushahid Hussain said bureaucratic red-tape caused unnecessary delay in completion of 425MW Nandipur power project and it is good that M/s. Dong Fong Electricity of China is coming back to complete the unfinished project.
He said Pakistan should invite China for exploitation of its coal reserves as China has good experience of coal power generation. He said government should focus on 4 point agenda of economy, energy, education and extremism and develop 10 years policy with consensus to address issues of these areas. He assured that he would act as a voice of businessmen in parliament.
In his welcome address, Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that instead of tilting towards the West, Pakistan should reorient its foreign policy and focus on greater Asia, which offers huge trade and economic opportunities. He said business community is normally ignored in policy making, rather it is blamed for many problems while it is playing important role in the economic development of country and should be given due recognition.
He called for a fair taxation system to improve tax revenue as the prevailing tax system is further burdening the existing taxpayers. The manufacturing sector is contributing 66% to the tax revenue while agriculture and services sectors are not paying proportionate to their GDP share, which is unfair. Every taxable income should be taxed without exemptions and concessions, he stressed. He said facilitating businessmen is must to achieve economic targets set by the government.
Zafar Bakhtawari said world is making progress by developing regional block, but South Asia is still the least integrated region despite having great potential to develop. He urged that government should work with South Asian countries and focus on SAARC, ASEAN, ECO and SCO regions to integrate them and to improve its trade and revive economy. He hoped that Senator Mushahid Hussain will play his role in this regard and will also raise business community concerns at all relevant forums to address their problems.
For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Tel: +9251 225 0526 and 225 3145
Fax: +9251 225 2950