ISLAMABAD - Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt has said that the current laws and regulations are discouraging industrialisation and value addition.

The current laws , rules and regulations are preferring trade over industry and pushing capital towards unproductive sectors like real estate and the stock market, he said. Taxations system and laws governing private sector should be modified so that industrialisation is promoted which will result in increased exports and reduced unemployment, he added.

He said funds that can be invested in the industry are moving towards unproductive sectors due to which imports are increasing and exports are decreasing. “This trend has damaged our economy to an extent that exports are less than $20 billion while imports have surpassed $50 billion, which is slowly pushing the country towards bankruptcy,” he said.

Shahid said that economic managers are pushing policies since decades which are discouraging industrial expansion while pushing industrialists to opt for trading. Pakistan’s export sector continues to retreat in the international market because of reduced competitiveness while the industries catering to the local needs are enjoying illegal as well as unethical protection, he added.

He said that tax structure must be amended to make it friendly so that majority of the business community stop considering it as a problem and start paying taxes. The business leader said that holding back refunds and cost of the energy has taken a toll on the export sector which was already reeling under multiple problems that has damaged it beyond repair.