LAHORE               -         Business community on Sunday said that plane crash tragedy will negatively hit the foreign investment, giving impression that general SOPs are widely ignored in Pakistan and travelling is not safe in the country.

These views were expressed by the Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) as well as the Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman Abdul Basit, further he stated that the foreign investors intending to set up various new projects in Pakistan, resent bureaucratic hurdles and urge the government to build a one-window system to expedite the work on all kinds of projects in the country.

He said that foreign investors were also onboard in the plane which was recently crashed, killing around 97 people when this Airbus A320 went down near the airport in Karachi. The PBIT ex-chairman, who is also former president of LCCI said: “The Airbus crash with 90 plus passengers also took the life of a Kuwait-based businessman, who was planning to move his investment from India to Pakistan, because of Indians hatred and cruelty towards Muslims. Many times he complained of the unnecessary delays of government departments and banks. He used to say, ‘10 minutes official work in the developed countries takes 6 weeks here’ in Pakistan.” For a similar minor customs query the Kuwaiti investor had to visit Karachi, which led to his sad demise, he added.

Abdul Basit said that the crash reflects the deeply embedded issues of our collective attitude that leads to our actions. “It seems we ignore SOPs that result into a tragedy. In the end, we debate on irrelevant issues rather than finding reasons of tragedy. We barely believe in SOP-based smooth running of the systems.”

He warned that future development depends upon safety for which we have to critically review our attitudes and improve systems, based on teams instead of individuals to minimize the probability of man-made tragedies in the country.

He said that the local as well as foreign investors from different countries are undergoing long departmental procedures to get various permissions as they have to deal with a number of departments.

“We have to deal with too many departments and have furnished a number of bank guarantees everywhere. It seems the departments are deterring investors instead of facilitating them. There is a vicious circle as departments forward a file from one place to another, which results in delays. Their processes are inter-linked; until the department ‘A’ does its job the department ‘B’ wouldn’t do anything,” he said.

 

The LCCI former president suggested that we have to change our collective attitude, adopting common SOPs in all walks of life. He feared that such a treatment to investors will send a bad message internationally and may blacken a future investment prospects in Pakistan.