LAHORE (PPI) - The business community has urged the government to immediately constitute economic reforms committee with representation from all the stakeholders including Chambers of Commerce, other trade bodies and political parties to urgently take up the challenges hampering the economic growth. In a statement issued here, the LCCIs former Senior Vice President Abdul Basit said that economic slowdown was not only causing unemployment but also creating law and order situation in the country and the government would have to evolve a well thought-out strategy to cope with the situation. He said that a number of industrialists had been shifted their industrial units to the other countries due to worst energy crisis, political instability, deteriorating law & order situation and economic meltdown while reportedly a large number of industrialists were also planning to shift their industrial operations to other countries because of unavailability of a conducive business atmosphere in Pakistan. He said that not only the developed world but several countries of the region are on the path of rapid growth while situation in the Pakistan is quite different. He said that in the year 2003, industrial growth rate was 2.49% that reached 13.10% in year 2005 but in the year 2010, negative growth rate was registered with -3-60%. Abdul Basit feared that the fiscal deficit could touch the staggering figure of Rs 1.2 trillion (about 8 percent of the GDP) if the situation remained the same for quite some time and resultantly the government would have to print billions of rupees that would trigger hyperinflation. The former LCCI Senior Vice President said that an efficient handling of issues at hand would be a great national service and it was not the industrialists that are disturbed but the people at large are also feeling the heat. He said that an immediate attention on the part of the government is needed to overcome the energy shortage that is the biggest hurdle in the way of economic growth. only because of electricity shortage, not only the business community is losing foreign orders but the goods are fast becoming uncompetitive. Abdul Basit, who is also a former Chairman of poultry association, said that the government would also have to activate Pakistani mission abroad to make Pakistani merchandise familiar in the international market. He urged the government to work on war footing otherwise Pakistan would become only a trading place instead of manufacturing hub. Meanwhile, Chairman PIAF Sohail Lashari has urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gillani to launch an independent investigation against the officials of NEPRA responsible for befooling the people by making wrong power tariff that caused heavy burden on the industrial and domestic users of electricity. In a press statement issued here Wednesday, Sohail Lashari said that some officials in NEPRA and other government departments were busy in making anti-social policies therefore those elements should be brought to the justice and punished who had given financial and mental torture the masses. He said that politician were busy in play blame-game instead of focusing their attention towards the betterment of the masses who are looking at them for some relief. The Chairman PIAF said that electricity and gas load shedding have already paralized the industrial sector. Industrialists are unable to fulfil their exporters and their foreign buyers are making way to the other countries. He said that thousands industrial units have closed down their operations left millions industrial workers unemployed but instead of taking some relief measures, NEPRA and other government departments creating more hurdles. Lashari said that industrial power tariff is 9 cent per unit and 9.5 cent per unit in India and Bangladesh respectively while Pakistani industrial users purchasing electricity on the higher price of 13 cent per unit. He said that markup rates were also too high when are compared with any of the developed economies, he added. He said that markup rate in US is 0.25 per cent, in UK 1.5 per cent, in Canada 1.5 per cent, in Australia 4.25 per cent, in Japan 0.1 per cent, in China 5.58 per cent, in India 5.5 per cent and in Bangladesh 7.61 per cent.