LAHORE - Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has predicted economic growth in coming days saying that things are moving in right direction.

He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) during his visit on Tuesday. 

Dollar price is no more being controlled artificially as was being done in the past.   Governor Punjab inaugurated two new conference halls in LCCI. He also visited the One Window Operation facility started by LCCI and lauded the LCCI’s services for its members by saying that “It is delighted to see the One Window Facility”, Governor said that LCCI is a role model for other chambers of Pakistan, adding that “visionary leadership always set big goals and also achieve them”.

Governor said that all concerns of the business community are genuine and resolution of these issues would help to boost the national economy manifold. 

The Governor Punjab also said that this government has reduced the import bill and also the current account deficit significantly. No other government has achieved what we have in two years, he added.

He said that bold steps taken by the government will soon borne fruits and the business community concerns will be addressed shortly. 

He also assured the business community that he would arrange meetings of LCCI members with concerned government officials for resolution of their issues.

Speaking about the high tariff of energy, he said that agreements signed by previous governments with IPPs are being renegotiated and hopefully prices of electricity will be reduced.  He stressed upon to strengthen the linkages between industry and academia so that the research being conducted by universities could be according to the needs of the industry.  

President of LCCI, Irfan Iqbal Sheikh extended his thanks to Governor Punjab for visiting LCCI and said that in 2013 European Union awarded GSP Plus status to Pakistan due to rigorous efforts of Governor Punjab Chaudhery Sarwar. 

He said that the GSP plus status has been awarded to Pakistan again and this time Pakistani business community will take maximum benefit out of it. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that LCCI has declared export emergency right after its elections. 

In order to achieve the maximum export target, LCCI has also set up an export facilitation centre to provide essential information to exporters and an Africa Desk has also been establishedto explore untapped export market of the African Continent.

President LCCI stressed upon the need of an industrial zoning of Lahore. He said the existing Quaid-e-Azam Industrial Estate and Sundar Industrial Estate are already saturated and there is no space available to set up new industrial units. 

He said that LCCI has worked closely with LDA and identified many sites for industrial zoning of Lahore Division. 

He asked Governor Punjab to use his office to help the business community in this regard as the summery from LDA has already been approved by the CM Punjab in 2017 but notification in this regard has not been issued till to date. 

Government should issue notification immediately, he added. LCCI Chief demanded that government should regularise all existing industrial units established at Ferozpur Road, Shahdara Road, Multan Road, Raiwind Road, Bund Road, Kasur Road and Katarbund Road etc without any conversion charges. 

Irfan Iqbal expressed his concerns over the exorbitant gas and electricity tariff and petroleum prices and said that the business community is already struggling hard due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Pakistani industry is uncompetitive with other neighbouring countries. Immediate steps are need of the hour to reduce the cost of doing business.