PESHAWAR - The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Abdur Rauf Alam on Tuesday called upon the federal government to extend the fiscal relief package and other incentives for the terror-affected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa so that its economy could grow.

Speaking at function held in his honour at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI), he said, “This is the time the government announces a fresh special relief package for KP for the next four years. We will stand by the business community of the province, whenever it needs our help.”

United Business Group Chairman Iftikhar Ali Khan, FPCCI General Secretary Zubair Tufail, Leader of Businessmen Forum Senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, KPCCI president Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Afghan Trade Commissioner Mirwais Yousafzai, a large number of traders and industrialists were also present on the occasion.

The FPCCI president said the Federation would take all possible measures to attain all due rights and incentives for the business community of KP.

“The sacrifices, rendered by the business community of this province in the ongoing war on terror, are unforgettable,” he said.

Lauding the visit of State Bank of Pakistan governor to KP, Alam hoped it would help resolve the issues being faced by the business community of the province.

He informed that he had met the SBP governor, and asked him to address genuine problems of the business community of the KP on a priority basis.

The FPCCI president said the multi-billion dollars China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was a game changer for the country, “We must remain on our toes to get maximum advantages out of the project,” he emphasised.

He suggested that in order to compete with the Chinese companies, the government should introduce competitive prices and incentives for the Pakistani businessmen in various projects under the CPEC. “The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China should be revised and another fresh agreement be signed,” he added.

On this occasion, Patron-in-Chief of United Business Group and TDAP Chairman S M Munir dispelled the impression that exports were declining in comparison with the neighbouring countries, and added, “All indicators are working in plus and economy is stabilising.”

He, however, said that due to downward trend in the prices of petroleum products, the export ratio had marginally declined.

“Pakistan’s overall exports have come down by only 14 percent, compared with India whose exports have declined by 22 percent, while leather exports of Pakistan have dropped by 30 percent against India’s 57 percent,” he explained.

In his speech, FPCCI General Secretary Zubair Tufail fully backed the demand for a special incentive package, adding the federal government must announce a handsome relief for the business community of KP.

He hoped that gas and energy shortages would be overcome by next year.

In his welcome address, the KPCCI President Zulfiqar Ali said he would try his best to bring investment into the province.

He said that businesses in KP had been badly affected due to prolonged militancy.  “Despite all odds, the business community continued their businesses and contributed to the economic development of the country,” he concluded.