LAHORE/ISLAMABAD   -  Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Ghazanfar Bilour on Monday said Prime Minister Imran Khan will rescue the country from the financial crisis.

The decisions will energise the economy and improve the confidence of the business community, he said. He said that FPCCI will fully cooperate with the new government to come up with the expectations of the masses to make Pakistan a better place to live.

Speaking to a delegation of Islamabad Industrial Association led by its chairman Mian Akram Farid, Ghazanfar said that the new government is facing uphill tasks of foreign and internal front and hoped that it will overcome problems with the help of the business community.

External loans have reached to the tune of $95 billion while the country needs almost twelve billion dollars immediately to avert an economic meltdown. “The relief provided in shape of electricity to the industrial sector should not be reversed while the state-run corporations should be sold immediately,” he demanded.

The president of the chamber said that business community should be taken into confidence over the issue of CPEC as unnecessary secrecy has created anxiety while the industrial estates under CPEC in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa must be relocated. “The second round of FTA with China should be completed with the input from the business community, a new industrial estate should be announced in Islamabad and tax administration should be improved,” he said.

He said that Islamabad and other cities should be given representation in the standing committees of FPCCI and that issues will be discussed with the new finance minister soon.

Meanwhile, business community on Monday hailed economic revival plan of the government announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his maiden televised address to the nation and extended their full cooperation for the progress and economic development of the country.

They appreciated Prime Minister's vision to pull out the country from the debt trap by introducing fundamental economic reforms and homegrown economic policies to put the country on the fast track development and prosperity.

They said that the trade bodies and chambers of commerce all across the country would fully support the government in its endeavors in revamping of the Federal Board of Revenue and simplification of the tax laws to promote corporate culture in the country and broadening the tax net to bridge the fiscal gape.

They said that the austerity plan announced by the Prime Minister would have long lasting effects on social and economic health of the country, besides it would encourage the tax payers and promote the tax culture in the country.

Prime Minister's address was a true reflection of the desires of a common man, who has been waiting for their fulfillment from the last seven decades, said president Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Shaikh Amir Waheed.

Talking to this news agency on Monday, he said that the national debt had been recorded at $95 billion and the intentions of the new government to get rid of the further borrowings by taking on board the overseas Pakistanis, incentivizing the local businessmen and adopting austerity measures were appreciable.

The money saved in such way would be spent to address the major issues including food, health, education, clean drinking water and sanitation, he said, adding that it would restore the confidence of people on the state and state functionaries.

The ICCI chief said that due to complicit tax laws in the country, corporate business had shrunk from 100,000 to 25,000, adding that the simplification of tax laws and introduction of business-friendly tax policies announced by the prime minister would help in the development of trade and business activities in the country.

Meanwhile, senior vice president SAARC CCI Iftikhar Ali Malik said that the measures announced by the Prime Minister will usher in an era of economic prosperity and bring the country on right track of economic development.

He also urged the need for promoting intra-region trade as huge potential was existing in different sectors of the economy as well as benefiting the experiences of each others for development and progress of the people of SAARC region.