The business of photo-studios and commercial and professional photography is declining in Pakistan due to the skyrocketing prices of digital still and movie cameras because Pakistan have to import these products from Japan, China and other countries. The leading distributors of Digital Imaging and Photo Industry believes that the government should support this business in Pakistan in order to boot the country's economy and to create more job opportunities for Pakistani professional photographers. Money Plus this time talks to Nasir Saeed Chief Executive Super Enterprises and Chairman Standing Committee on Digital Imaging and Photo Industry of Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry to find out how this sector can perform well and provide job opportunities to the Pakistanis. Mr Nasir Saeed Chief Executive Super Enterprises, country's leading company dealing in digital imaging products, said that few decades ago the business of small photo-studios and photo-shops was on its peak but after the arrival of digital imaging in Pakistan, most of the photo-studio owners had to closed down their business due to the high prices of digital cameras. "The big investors replaced the small studios by establishing big digital laboratories after the digital revolution in Pakistan. The small traders and businessmen were unable to set up such expensive laboratories, thus they had to leave this business," he said. Nasir Saeed said that the government should provide relief to the photo industry by taking concrete steps to counter unemployment and facilitating the stakeholders linked to this business. Believe me, he said, the digital imaging and photo industry has a great scope in Pakistan if the government waive off the custom duty and other taxes on the import of digital imaging products. He further demanded the government to waive off all the custom duty and taxes on these products immediately. Consequently, the prices of digital imaging products would fall to a reasonable extent in the local market, which will help professionals join this business. The press photographers use digital cameras for their professional duties. Similarly, a great number of people can earn living by setting up their own digital photo-studios and through indoor and outdoor photo shooting. They will also be able to carry out photography on wedding parties and other ceremonies. Nasir Saeed, the sole distributor of Olympus Japan and Tetenal Photo-products Germany in Pakistan, further revealed that the government is collecting 32 per cent tax including custom duty, sales tax and income tax on the digital imaging products. The government must waive these taxes to boost the photo-industry and to provide more job opportunities to the people of Pakistan. There is no tax on the mobile phone, which have a number of accessories including movie cameras and still cameras. Therefore, he said, the digital imaging products should also not be taxed. Nasir Saeed said that he also arranged three-day Digital Mela this week at the Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry to promote this industry. The Provincial Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran inaugurated the digital mela and assured the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry that all issues related to taxation, law and order, environmental hazards and treatment plants to cope with industrial waste would be given top priority. LCCI President Mohammad Ali Mian, Senior Vice President Mian Muzaffar Ali, Vice President Shafqat Saeed Piracha, Chairman Standing Committee on Event Management Sheikh Mohamad Arshad also attended the mega event. He said that the government must improve the law and order situation in Pakistan to improve the country's economy. He said that the government and Pakistani Ambassadors should also create soft-image of Pakistan abroad in order to attract the foreign investment. The investors and businessmen avoid visiting Pakistan as the international media is depicting the picture of Pakistan as no one is safe in this country which is totally incorrect. Olympus and Nikon companies are investing in India rapidly by establishing their outlets and offices in the multistory buildings. These companies have also set up their production plants in Thailand, Korea, China and Indonesia. If they have set up their production plants in those countries they can also set up their production plants in Pakistan but they need peaceful and business friendly atmosphere, better law and order situation and energy security, he said. Nasir Saeed also urged the government to solve the genuine problems of business community like professional tax, which is being charged by provincial and local governments. Nasir Saeed said that the sole object of holding this photo mela was to highlight the potential of the country in this particular area which is of prime importance but was never given due attention. He said that the total volume of photographic equipment industry is $371 billion dollars with a huge potential for investment and the industry requires proper government patronage. He said that Pakistan has no dearth of talent but it is suffering only because of non-implementation of policies, therefore government should ensure implementation of policies. He said that the government should take special measure to check fast going up prices of the daily use items by evolving welfare-oriented policies. He also urged the politicians to solve all the issues of national importance including the restoration of judges as early as possible as they are hitting the economy hard. He said that the situation on the political front had turned so gloomy that no local businessman was ready to put his money in any new venture what to talk of foreign investors. To a question he said that independent judiciary is must to bring foreign investment in Pakistan. The investors prefer investment in those countries where judiciary is independent and justice is provided to everybody. He said that the February 18 elections and the resultant formation of governments at Federal and provincial levels had sent very positive signals abroad and a large number of visionary people were openly making predictions that now nothing could stop Pakistan from becoming hub of economic activity because of its important strategic location. He said that fast going up oil prices, shortage of gas and power and high mark up rates had already increased the cost of doing business in the country. Hundreds of industrial units had closed down their operations while as many are on the verge of closure but unfortunately nobody was giving due attention to these issues of prime importance. He urged the politicians to stop playing cat and mice with the economy and the masses in the larger interests of the country, as any further delay in decisions would cause irreparable loss. He said that to ease off the tremendous pressure the economy at the moment is passing through, the politicians would have to sit together for an early solution to all the issues. He said that the deteriorating law and order in the country often adversely affect the national economy. He said that in the prevailing scenario worldwide, the survival of any country or state only depends on sound economy, which is only possible through peaceful atmosphere, better law and order and business friendly environment in the country. He said economic growth and foreign investment is only possible when overall law and situation in the country is satisfactory and life and property of all the citizens were fully protected even during disturbance. In the present situation, he claimed, no foreign investor is willing to investment in Pakistan. He said Pakistan could never afford the situation, which it faced in the recent past. Nasir Saeed said that unscheduled gas and power load shedding had already damaged the industry and it had now become impossible to meet the export targets by ensuring timely despatch of consignments to their destinations. He has appealed to all political parties to give top priority to peaceful atmosphere in the country, which is pre-requisite for sustainable economic growth for the survival of the country and promotion of democracy. Now it is high time for all political parties to get united on one point agenda to help maintain durable peace in the country in the larger national interest, he added.