LAHORE – The business community on Tuesday demanded the government to announce the date of the general elections in the country to foil the conspiracies to derail democratic process, as uncertainty has halted business activities in the country.

The whole nation is ready to bring change through ballot and would not let any element to make the country hostage on the behest of undemocratic forces, observed chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on Digital Industries, Nasir Saeed.

Saeed, who is also LCCI member Executive Committee, reaffirmed the business community’s commitment to democracy, saying that stability and prosperity of the country is linked with the continuation of democratic system in the country and the nation has to decide through its vote what change is to be brought in the country. He said that political instability has caused a huge crash of stock market, besides bringing down rupee value versus the US dollar by almost 40 paisas in a single day.

Iftikhar Ali Malik asked the government to announce the date of elections without any delay to avoid further uncertainty and raise the confidence of trade and industry.

He appealed to the government to proactively deal with the ongoing crisis and other issues to avert industrial closures and resultant economic downturn. Discussing the power issue, Malik said that the power shortage had not only caused unrest among the businessmen but it was depriving the country of 2 per cent of much-needed GDP with an impact of Rs52 billion per annum on revenue generation and if seriousness is not shown practically, it is not the industrial productions alone but the economic activity will come to a grinding halt in totality.

While appreciating the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on rental power case, the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran general secretary Naeem Mir urged PM to resign from his post. He said that traders have called a meeting of trade representatives from across the country on Jan 22 to discuss the prevailing political scenario and its impact on business activity in the country.

He suggested the government to announce immediately the interim government setup after consultations with all stakeholders, as the establishment of new government can bring the economy out of mire and vagueness. He said that Balochistan governor Zulfiqar Magsi’s consent to call provincial assembly’s meeting amid governor rule is denying the justice to martyrs of Quetta incident, appealing Chief Justice of Pakistan to take action in this regard.

WCCI president Qesra Sheikh, who was visibly disturbed over the government’s inability to tackle all issues including power crisis in its over four and half years tenure, pressed upon the policy makers for implementation of a result-oriented mechanism.