LAHORE - Being an important stakeholder, the business community should be taken on board while formulating trade and economic policies by the govt as no country could move ahead at economic front without a good public-private partnership.

These views were expressed by LCCI president Abdul Basit, senior vice president Amjad Ali Jawa and vice president Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan while talking to different delegations here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Abdul Razzaq Bubber, Khalid Pervez, Zahid Maqsood Butt, Rizwan Akhter Shamsi and others also spoke on the occasion.

The LCCI office-bearers said that country is abundant with resources but facing various economic challenges because of unavailability of a mechanism for implementation of government policies. They said that policies cannot give desired results until and unless business community is not taken on board. They said that Pakistan is the 4th and 9th largest cotton and wheat producing country of the world while it has largest reserves of gold & copper and coal. They said that according to a rough estimate, value of our coal reserves is around $ 3 trillion that is 187 times more than the GDP of Pakistan. They said that only 2% of Pakistani coal reserves are enough to generate 20,000 MW electricity for almost 50 years.

He said that in addition to gold, copper and coal, the country is also enriched with vast reserves of precious stones, gypsum, salt and marble but instead of taking full advantage of these God-gifted resources most of the share being exported in raw form and a little attention towards value addition could do miracle for the country and its people.

LCCI President Abdul Basit said early construction of water reservoirs is only solution to ongoing energy crisis and the government should utilize all its resources to generate cheaper electricity. He said that not only power projects in the pipeline should be completed at the earliest but new hydel projects in general and Kalabagh dam in particular should be launched without further delay. The LCCI office-bearers informed the delegation members that issues of heavy increase in valuation of various goods, misuse of discretionary powers by the tax officials, smuggling and raids on business premises will be raised with full force.

Head of the delegation of Anjuman-e-Tajran Mujahid Maqsood Butt hoped the LCCI new management would help resolve the issues like cumbersome taxation system and business bank account attachment. He said that simplified and friendly taxation system will broaden the tax net. While calling for bringing down the tax net, Mujahid Maqssod Butt said that large number of taxes always discouraged people to stay out of the tax net.