KARACHI - The members of Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) have urged the government to reduce cost of doing business by cutting tax and interest rates and improving power supply. This was stated by OICCI President Farrukh H Khan while giving details of investment survey report 2009, based on the responses of 124 out of 181 members (71 percent). He said that the average tax rate on corporate sector in Pakistan was 35 percent, which is the highest in the region. The average tax rate is below 30 percent in regional countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Singapore, he added. He said the members have urged the government to give an adequate voice to OICCI club in policy making because of their considerable contribution to GNP, revenue and exports. Khan said that 124 OICCI companies have contributed Rs 230 billion tax revenue to the national exchequer. This is 22 percent of the overall tax receipts, he added. He said Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) hitting hard the OICCI members and local economy alike. This regime has promoted the menace of smuggling which needs to be checked. OICCI president said that circular debt has badly affected the liquidity position of the companies. Besides, the government needs to look at refineries margins to improve their profitability. He said that present law and order situation including the war on terror has badly affected the investment flow in the country. The planned investment has significantly declined by 36.6 percent to Rs 93.755 billion during 2009 compared to last years Rs 148.050 billion. Farrukh Khan said the gross revenue of the respondents has surged by 31 percent to Rs 1.6 trillion during 2008 compared to last year. Oil and gas, information technology and communication recorded a significant growth during this period. However, the profitability of OICCI companies has declined by 15 percent to Rs 104 billion in 2008 against Rs 122.819 billion in 2007. This needed a focus from the government on an urgent basis, he noted. He pointed out that OICCI members have earned a foreign exchange equivalent to Rs 34.82 billion in the shape of exports, showing a growth of 33 percent during the period under review.