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Situation dragging economy down

Islamabad: Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik on Sunday said deteriorating situation coupled with energy shortages can drag economy down.

He said mere assurances to lift gas supply suspension cannot help sooth feelings of enraged business community which has expressed its feelings in Lahore under the banner of LCCI.

Government should revisit priorities to ensure equal distribution of gas through to calm the business community who are concerned about their future, the veteran business leader said.

Acting Group Chairman Businessman Panel Iftikhar Ali Malik said this while speaking to a delegation of business community at his residence.

The delegation included Chairman Media FPCCI Malik Sohail, President Women’s Chamber Samina Fazil, President Attock CCI Tariq Mahmood, Malik Sagheer, Shakil Dhingra, Haroon Rashid, Anwar A Sheikh, Rehmatullah Jawed and others.

Malik said that the situation can fan localism and take an ugly turn, adding that a planned long march by business community towards Islamabad will compound uncertainty.

He said that gas supply suspension has left thousands of businesses closed and millions jobless. How will they pay mark-up on bank loans if they are not generating funds, he questioned.

The issue of interest on loans should be resolved lest it result in more closures and add billions to the defaults of banks that are already facing record non-performing loans, he warned.

He said that economy is under tremendous pressure due to lack of attention, mismanagement, pressure on rupee and foreign payments, enhanced imports, reduced exports, and alarming reduction in foreign investment.

Situation has left industry unable to think of competing with neighbouring nations enjoying enabling policies, he added.

He informed that he is meeting with the Chairman FBR on Tuesday to hammer out certain issued haunting the business community.

Malik said that government should see protests as an opportunity to resolve issues of business community so that economy can prosper. We should interact and discuss policy and regulatory issues affecting business environment, he underlined.

He said that businesses have suffered loss of over Rs 200 billion in Punjab alone making it a calamity-hit area. All major political parties including government’s coalition partners are also admitting energy crisis but concerned quarters seems indifferent.

Calling upon the business community to remain peaceful during demonstrations, Iftikhar Ali Malik said that violence never pays.

At the occasion Chairman Media FPCCI Malik Sohail lauded the role of Iftikhar Ali Malik and supported his decision to skip Dhaka Convention LEAD 2012 in the interest of business community.

National business leaders have helped control tempers during protests which is a great service, said Malik Sohail.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Raza Khan,
Chairman Coordination,
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
FPCCI, Capital Office, Islamabad,
Former President, Haripur Chamber of Commerce,
Founder President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce.
Tel: FPCCI +92-51-2251891-3. Fax +92-51-251894
Tel: Business +92-51-4434200-5. Fax +92-514434203

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