MULTAN-President of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Malik Asrar Ahmad Awan has said that the government will have to constitute a new province of "South Punjab" on administrative grounds to alleviate the miseries of this region.

Briefing the Officers of 23rd Senior Management Course of National Institute of Management who visited the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Friday, he said that Civil servants should not hesitate to compensate the "Have-nots" and they must strictly adhere to merit so that unapproachable people could attain their right easily.

The participants were given a brief presentation by Malik Asrar Ahmed Awan and assisted by Khurram Javed Secretary General on the profile and contribution of the South Punjab to the country's economy by producing 80 percent of cotton 45 percent of wheat, good quality mango, dates, including its' role in facilitating FDI, an overview of Pakistan business climate and Ease of doing business in this area, incentives and opportunities for potential investors in this region.

This visit of senior staff to the MCCI by the NIM Course members provided an opportunity for a good interaction between the members of senior government bureaucracy, who will have a profound role in future policy making in the country, and foreign investors on overall business and economic climate of the country.

The meeting provided an opportunity for MCCI to highlight matters relating to the need for an effective government strategy and proper policy implementation for improving the country's economy and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), considering the fact that Pakistan offers a number of incentives for investors which are not available in the regional countries. Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi Former President of MCCI said that doing businesses in Pakistan was not viable and we cannot compete even Bangladesh due to higher cost of production. We cannot avail the opportunity of GSP-Plus status due to these constraints.

Roomi said that there was no need of granting subsidies to textile sector, Instead, Government should supply cheaper electricity, LNG besides better infra-structure. He said that international agencies have declared Multan and south Punjab as second good option for business.

There is great potential to invest in Cotton ginning, weaving, spinning, Agro-based industry, Power Generation, Tractor manufacturing, Oil- and flour mills. Syeda Sarwat Zahra told the participants that Multan Chamber was encouraging the skilled ladies and women entrepreneurs and providing them equal opportunities to introduce their products in International Markets.

Samina Intizar Chief Instructor agreed that the issues of lack of timely decision making and proper policy implementation is one of the most important issues impacting FDI and opined that it can be addressed by giving incentives to the decision makers, and a close Public/Private partnership whereby focus groups could be made to identify areas of concern and a practical action plan suggested to address these concerns after proper and thorough research. Aurangzeb Alamgir and Khawaja Muhammad Farooq also spoke.