PM urged to make CPEC SEZs functional

December 07, 2017

LAHORE - The Businessmen Panel (BMP) has urged the Prime Minister to devise a policy in order to promote industrialisation in the country which is much needed for the economic prosperity.

The Panel said, “We also need to revisit our trade policy as country’s exports declined in three years whereas Bangladesh’s exports rose from $ 24 billion to 36 billion. Comparatively our trade deficit was very alarming and if we include even overseas Pakistanis remittances still over $15 billion trade deficit is there.”

These views were shared by the officials of BMP, led by its chairman Mian Anjum Nisar, coming from all four provinces who called on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at the PM office.

Anjum Nisar said, “We are well aware of the problems of the government and we want to support it, but at the same time government may also realize the problems of the business community.” He said last month regulatory duty was imposed without the consultation of the chambers of commerce which could increase cost of doing business. He also highlighted the issue of increasing of cost of doing business which was confronted by the traders and the businessmen at large.

Anjum said, “We were thankful to the government that CPEC was launched but at the same time the business community wants the same incentives to the Pakistani counterparts what were offered to Chinese private sector. Similarly Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which were offered in CPEC , are still not operative physically.” He requested the Prime Minister to make SEZs functional so that private sector of Pakistan may construct industries on it.

The Chairman BMP also drew attention on the Sales Tax refunds which were piling up day by day. In this regard, he advised FBR should make a workable mechanism to release the sales tax claims.

The Prime Minister said the government is determined to support industry and we were well aware that industry is engine of any economy. He said there is some misconception that government was giving some out of box incentives to Chinese businessmen in the wake of CPEC . “I assure you there is nothing like that. We only gave some incentives to those industries in China which want to relocate their industry from China to Pakistan.” The PM also directed the Commerce Minister to start close liaison with the business community and the chambers of commerce.

The meeting was attended by Commerce Minister Pervez Malik, Advisor to PM on Economy Miftah Ismail, Vice President FPCCI Rasheed Piracha, PIAF Chairman Irfan Sheikh, Chairman Pharmaceutical Association Shahzeb Akram, President PBIF Mian Zahid Hussain, Presidents of Lahore, Gawadar, Makran, Chitral, DI Khan, Dadu and Fata Chambers of Commerce, officials of Pakistan Sugar Millers Association, former VPs FPCCI Adnan Jalil, Riaz Khattak, Mian Shaukat, former president FPCCI Zakria Usman, FPCCI Regional Standing Committee Chairman Ahmad Jawad and former president Mohmand Agency CCI Qaisar Khan Daudzai.