LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) will the part of the economic policy, Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri assured this while speaking at the LCCI on Wednesday.
Qasim khan Suri said the business community is more than welcome to participate in the Standing Committees of the Parliament related to the trade, finance and economy. The government will listen to the business community and will work hand in hand with them to further the business activities in the country. The government has also ensured that the business activities must continue during the COVID-19, which is the sign of the commitment we have for the assistance of our businessmen.
President LCCI Mian Tariq Misbah, Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan, Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, Former Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmed, LCCI Executive Committee Members Shahid Nazeer, Fiaz Haider, Shireen Arshad Khan, Haji Asif Seher and Malik Riaz Iqbal were also present on the occasion.
Qasim Khan Suri said that the economy is imperative in the uplift of any country, “sadly we don’t have a strong democratic system which supports and endures the constructive policies of the previous governments, this is the reason behind the absence of the strong trade policies” said Qasim Khan Suri, adding that we will make sure that the business friendly policies should continue for the long term.
He said overpopulation is the main reason behind the lack of facilities, adding that at some stage of COVID-19 spread, we had strong concerns that if this disease spreads more, how we will be able to provide basic health facilities at this large scale. He said to begin with, we didn’t even have ventilators and we were importing petty items like masks to fulfill our needs, adding that now we are not only producing masks and ventilators but also exporting these items. He said the support and contribution of the business community to fight Coronavirus enabled us to control the disease along with help our countrymen in need.
Speaking about the regional trade, Qasim Khan Suri said that in recent years our exports to Afghanistan have been decreased substantially, this is due to the unrest in the neighbor country. The present government is ready to work with any government establishment in Afghanistan and is forming policies which will enable our exporters to export more freely in Afghanistan.
He said the low volume of formal trade with the Iran is due to the sanctions imposed on the neighboring country. “We have many a time requested Iranian Envoy to Pakistan and their trade authorities to provide us the information of how they are trading with other countries without the banking channels so that we could follow the same model for the trade expansion between two countries but they have not responded to our calls despite our numerous efforts” said Qasim Khan Suri.
He said recently, we have been under pressure to accept Israel and form trade relations with them for the betterment of our economy, adding that “we are an ideological state, we live not only live with this ideology but will protect it” added Qasim Khan Suri.
President LCCI Mian Tariq Misbah said that the LCCI understands that government is fully utilizing all its possible resources to revive the economy and businesses in these crunch times and appreciates the efforts of the government in curtailing the current account deficit from 20 billion dollars to 3 billion dollars besides reducing the trade deficit considerably.
He said the unity showed by the Government and the entire Parliament in supporting the businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19 outbreak through various schemes in recent months is commendable. We believe that the economic crises is still far from over, therefore, the role that Parliament can play under your leadership in coming months is of great importance.
Mian Tariq Misbah requested the Deputy Speaker to play a special role in engaging the members of Parliament for introducing effective legislation to control the ongoing price hike in the country that is not only adding to the cost of doing business but also making the cost of living out of the range for common people.
LCCI President said that the industry has been showing negative growth rates since the last two years. Pakistan has entered into an era of de-industrialization. He requested the members of parliament to formulate a special charter for enhancing the process of industrialization in the country which needs to be implemented regardless of the change of federal government.
He said that the representatives of private sector must be taken on board while chalking out business/trade related policies. Standing committees in National Assembly can be excellent forums for this purpose. LCCI will be really pleased to have this opportunity to take part in the activities of these committees. It will let us submit the specific proposals of the business community to highlight the critical issues being faced by the business community.
Senior Vice President LCCI Nasir Hameed Khan said that the government and the business community should work together for the development of the economy. He said the business community has played a pivotal role for this government to come into power, adding that now; the business community is distant form the government. He emphasized that the government to should bridge this gap quickly.
Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry thanked the Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri for visiting LCCI and listening to the issues of the business community.