LAHORE - Government and private sector would work as partners to achieve economic goals in shortest possible time.
This was agreed at a meeting between Provincial Minister for Industries, Trade & Investment Mian Aslam Iqbal and president of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Malik Tahir Javaid.
Mian Aslam Iqbal said that joint moves are needed to get desired results. He said that industrial sector is the driving force of the economy and all resources would be utilized to solve the problems being faced by the industries of Punjab. He said that rapid growth of industry and sustainable development is the top agenda of his ministry. He said that comprehensive strategy is being evolved to ensure state-of-the-art industrial infrastructure, skilled workforce and investment facilities to the business community.
The minister urged the LCCI president to identify their problems and extend proposals for their solution. He said that steps would be taken on a war footing to set up industries across the Punjab. The industrial sector would be encouraged and the foreign investors would be provided opportunities to invest in the country to boost the economy.
LCCI president Malik Tahir Javaid said that poverty reduction, creation of new employment opportunities, revenue generation and relief to the masses are directly linked with growth of industrial sector that must be ensured by taking stakeholders on board in policy formulation. He said that issues of availability of cheap and sufficient energy, macroeconomic instability, political rift, crime, tax administration, access to finance, taxations & custom regulations should also be focused on priority.
“Slowdown growth and productivity in manufacturing sector are fast eroding industrial competitiveness which is bound to affect revenue, employment and export earnings etc”, Malik Tahir Javaid said.
He said that dual taxation, intervention of various departments in business matters, high cost of doing business and high frequency of duties & taxes are the major concerns for the business community that must be addressed on priority. He said that businessmen of Punjab are paying taxes on their consignments in Sindh and then in Punjab. Double taxation is burdening the existing taxpayers and hindering the broadening of tax net. He said that Punjab government should take up this issue with the federal government.
The LCCI President said that over the course of our economic history, the different experiments with federal and provincial industrial polices led to low industrial growth in Pakistan. It is need of the hour to stimulate industrial growth, leading to higher GDP growth.
He further stated that the industrial policy of Punjab province should incentivize the industry to move up the technology ladder. It will be even better that the industrial policy should focus on private sector led investment strategy which must lead to greater private investments in mega projects.