PESHAWAR                 -            The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), has urged the government to take pragmatic steps to resolve the key issues of furniture industry and help to give boost the export of furniture products. The SCCI president Maqsood Anwar said that Pakistan generally and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular have huge potential to promote the export of best furniture products and the government should address the key issues of this industry for its better growth. This he said while addressing the oath taking ceremony of All Pakistan Furniture Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter here on Thursday.

On the occasion, the SCCI vice president, Shahid Hussain, Jalil Jan, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) provincial chief, Rashid Aman, All Pakistan Furniture Association Central Chairman Zahid Hussain, the association provincial chairman, Ejaz Ali, furniture manufacturers and allied industry people were present.

Mr Maqsood said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has diverse potentials regarding furniture, especially cottage industry. However, he said due to pathetic attitude of previous governments and unfavorable conditions in past, the businessmen attached with the furniture industry are facing severe hardships, which is too a major cause for declining in exports of furniture products, he added.

He demanded the government to take prompt measures to resolve issues of furniture manufactures on priority basis, besides, immense potentials in marble, honey, gems and jewelry, hydel power generation, and other natural resources, a great potential in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa furniture industry is exited, which need to exploit in efficient manner that would help in promoting exports of furniture items.

Approximately 600 furniture small and large units existing in Peshawar University road along with furniture factories in other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, SCCI chief informed. He noted that the furniture industry had played pivotal role in the country exports. However, he lamented that the former successive governments didn’t do much to give boost this important industry, due to which it is declining rapidly.

The SCCI president urged the federal and provincial governments to announce special incentives and grant for furniture industry as well as take proactive steps to resolve key issues this important industry. He also demanded of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) to issue matching grant to furniture industry on priority basis.

All Pakistan Furniture Association Central Chairman Zahid Hussain Khan, President Taj Ahmed Waheed, the association provincial chairman, Ejaz Ali, Smeda chief Rashid Aman, Mujeebur Rehamn also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, the SCCI president took oath from newly-elected office bearers of the All Pakistan Furniture Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chapter.