Governor KPK supports LCCI demand for Charter of Economy
LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday demanded a Charter of Economy by all the political parties instead of elections.
The demand was raised collectively at a meeting with the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Haji Ghulam Ali at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
LCCI President Kashif Anwar presented the address of welcome while Senior Vice President Zafar Mahmood Chaudhry and Vice President Adnan Khalid Butt also spoke on the occasion. LCCI Executive Committee members and former office-bearers were also present on the occasion.
The participants also passed a resolution saying “we want economy, not elections”.
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Haji Ghulam Ali said that all segments of society, including politicians and the business community, should think beyond all kinds of politics, and play their role for economic development of the country.
The Governor KPK said that collective approach has to be adopted to resolve the issues being faced by the business community, economy and the State. He said that when the state is weak, its foundations are shaken. He said that the economy and industry are the main pillars of our state. We have to think about the development of economy, industry, elimination of unemployment and to control the inflation.
He said that all 54 Chambers should stick to their demand of election boycott if the Charter of Economy is not signed. He said that only the business community can bring the country out of economic difficulties.
The Governor said that KPK is enriched with vast mineral resources that will not be exhausted even in the next hundred years. He said that the business community should invest in the mineral sector of KPK. He said that full support will be extended to the investors and a seminar will also be organized in this regard in Governor House of KPK.
“I have suggested that all the political parties should be persuaded to sit on one table and hold the election on the same day”, he said and added that it will cost only Rs.50 billion instead of Rs. 200 billion. He said that Punjab is a big brother, if there is any problem in Punjab, the backbone of the whole country will be broken. He said that Turkey also got out of economic difficulties and achieve the goals of economic development.
LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that our country is currently suffering from severe political instability which is having a direct impact on our economy. The conditions of our country require that a charter of economy should be signed without further delay and whichever political party comes to power, should fully implement this charter.
He said that we cannot afford inflation rate of 27%. He said that our economic problems have multiplied due to the hike in dollar price against Pak rupee. This situation is not only keeping the foreign investment away but is also discouraging the local investors.
The LCCI President said that the foreign exchange reserves reached at the lowest level in the history because of which, the banks are not opening new LCs while thousands of imported containers are stuck at the ports occurring demurrage and detention charges. He said that due to non-availability of raw materials, many industries have closed down their operations. He said that although the Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs has given the statement that demurrage and port charges will be waived off, but no notification has been issued in this regard yet.
Kashif Anwar informed the Governor KPK that Lahore Chamber has written a letter to the leaders of all the political parties to sign a Charter of Economy. The Lahore Chamber has also formulated some important proposals to fix the current economic conditions of the country and requested the heads of political parties to shaire their economic manifesto with us to that we can help create a joint charter.
He said that there is no doubt that political stability is essential for economic stability. The Lahore Chamber is in constant touch with all the Chambers in Punjab and making all-out efforts for joint proposals for sustainable solution to the economic ills. LCCI is also willing to have cordial relations with the Chambers in KPK.
The LCCI President said that KPK has a lot of potential for tourism. Most of the tourist destinations of our country are located in KPK. To exploit the potential of tourism, it is necessary to ensure hotels and other facilities for tourists.
He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is rich in mineral deposits and there is a lot of investment potential in the Minerals & Mining Sector. He said that by using modern technology like blasting to extract marble and other minerals, not only waste of raw material can be avoided, but it can also be manufactured according to international standards and can be sold at a better rate.
The LCCI President suggested that the government of KPK should organize a special briefing session for the investors of our province to increase investment in the mineral and mining sector.
He added that according to official statistics, worst floods and rains last year cost $ 33 billion to the national economy while KPK suffered a loss of $2.3 billion. He said that if new dams and reservoirs had been built in the country, the situation would have been much better. He said that it is necessary to build new dams and water reservoirs on a war footing.
He said that along with this, we also need to work on solar energy, which will provide cheap electricity from renewable resources and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. He said that Pakistan imports $23.3 billion worth of crude oil to meet its energy needs which adds to our trade deficit.
Kashif Anwar said that we have always insisted on increasing the Tax Base. We have suggested the government to immediately announce the Declaration Scheme so that the Undeclared Foreign Reserves can become part of our economy.
He said that Pakistan has been playing its role in the War on Terror very actively for a long time. We have observed that due to this, many changes have taken place in the economic, social and political landscape of our country. He hoped that this struggle will yield positive results soon and our country will get rid of many problems forever.
The LCCI President mentioned the access and smuggling of goods transported under the Afghan Transit Trade to Pakistani markets, which is causing a great loss to our local industries and the National Exchequer. There is a need to improve Border Management. Apart from this, the Law Enforcing Agencies of both the provinces should ensure information and resource sharing.
He said that Pakistan has also been facing security concerns for a long time due to which foreign buyers and investors do not visit our country. There is an atmosphere of concern in the business community that a new wave of terrorism is starting. In recent days, there was a suicide blast in a mosque in Peshawar, in which many precious lives were lost and many injured are still undergoing treatment in hospitals.
Earlier, participants of the meeting offered Dua for the martyrs of earthquake in Turkey, Syria and blast in Peshawar incident. TF REPORT