KARACHI - The business leaders conference here Saturday called for more government support, better monetary policies, and better law and order to strengthen private sector and to attract local and foreign investment to various potential sectors of the country.

The speakers emphasised for implementing the comprehensive long-term economic polices based sector-wise targets to benefit from the country’s huge wealth of natural resources. The nature has blessed Pakistan with economic edge over many other countries, the economic experts noted.

The one-day business leaders conference was organised by Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP).  Former federal finance minister and senior banker Shaukat Tarin proposed for the merger of Ministry of Water and Power with the Ministry of Petroleum to effectively cater to the present and future energy needs of the country.

He underlined the need for a comprehensive long-term plans for electricity generation through hydel, coal and renewable energy sources. He stressed that the government should ensure power generation at very affordable price for the common man. He observed that our banking sector had failed to reach the people and said the banks would have to revisit their business plans and bring new financing products desired by the people.

He said the corporate sector needs to be provided with more space at stock exchanges. He said that more investment be made in agriculture and manufacturing sectors through global alliances, joint ventures and public-private partnership.

He said Pakistan’s tax and GDP ratio is very low even in South Asian region and that strong political initiatives were needed to increase the tax ratio. “ Significant increase in tax ratio is vital for our economic growth ,” he remarked.

Tarin said that after 7th NFC award, the Federation is very much generous to the provinces and now they do get lot of funds. However, he continued, after 18th amendment the provinces would have to increase generating their own revenue. He was very optimistic about the youth of the country.

Amin Hashwani, President Pakistan India CEOs Forum, supported strengthening of strong economic and political relations between Pakistan and India. Asif Jooma, President Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry and MD Abbott Laboratories (Pakistan) Limited, said Pakistan is the land of opportunities.

This must be realized and the potential must be materialized.

Atif Bajwa, President Bank Al-Falah Limited, Sirajuddin Aziz, President Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited, Hasan Aziz Bilgrami, President BankIslami Pakistan Limited, Dr. Amjad Waheed, CEO NBP Fullerton Asset Management Limited and Irfan Siddiqui, President Meezan Bank Limited, were of the view that the progress of the financial sector was remarkable.