The government on Thursday feared that billions of the rupees of foreign investors would go down the drain due to the prolong sits-ins of the political parties in federal capital that would lead to discourage the much needed foreign investment in the country.

“The ongoing sit-ins of the political parties in federal capital are badly affecting the Pakistan’s economy, as even foreign investors are reluctant to invest in the country owing to the political uncertainty”, said the Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile that met under the chair of Senator Haji Ghulam Ali. 

“Billions of rupees of the foreign investors are feared to go down the drain due to the prolong sits-ins of the political parties in Islamabad, as exports and importers stopped the supply and demand and machinery was lying at Karachi port.” he said and added that stock exchange witnessed a bearish trend in the current week, which also had a negative impact on the economy.

The Committee members showed serious concerns over the huge financial losses occurred due to the political uncertainty in the country due to the prolong sit-ins of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Party (PAT) in front of the parliament house. The committee passed a resolution showing concern on national trade deficit decrease of import and export, which damaged the country’s credibility at international level. The Committee noted that country’s exports and imported are affected apart from the rupee deprecating that increase the public debt by Rs 350 billion. Similarly, the trade deficit enhanced by Rs 500 billion due to the political uncertainty. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Standing committee on Commerce and Textile Haji Ghulam Ali, hailing from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), said that all matters should be resolved through negotiations in the democratic regime. He further said that government is holding sincere dialogue with both parties including PTI and PAT to find legal and constitutional solution of political issues.

The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile has discussed several issues. The Committee was informed that government could not appoint Chairman State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan (SLICP), as it could not find an experienced and eligible person for the said post after giving advisement in newspapers. The Committee was briefed that government would once again advertise the post of the Chairman SLICP.

The Senate body also sought detailed report from the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan regarding other appointments made in the organisation. Senator Ilyas Bilour of Awami National Party (ANP) identified the financial fraud made in the SLICP, as he informed that State Life Corporation had faced frauds worth of Rs 24 million in two different cases. He alleged that government had replaced the honest officer who was investigating the financial scam of the SLICP, while alleged corrupt officers are still enjoying their posts, he added.

However, the Secretary Commerce briefed the Committee that government had terminated the officers involved in the financial scam of State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan. Apart from Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s investigation, the department inquiry is also under process against the corrupt officers he said and added that government would present the report in the Senate Committee.

The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile also discussed the amendments in Trade Organization Rules 2013 for extension of the law to the tribal areas. The Secretary Commerce informed the committee that extension in the aforesaid law has been moved to the SAFRON ministry, which would approve it from the President through FATA Secretariat. The Secretary Commerce further informed that commerce ministry in collaboration of SAFRON ministry would expedite the process.

The Senate body has also constituted a sub committee under the chair of Senator Isalmuddin Sheikh for the compensation of complaints of the Chambers of Commerce and Industries. The committee would comprise Senator Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob Nasir and Dr Karim Ahmad Khawaja. Committee Chairman Senator Haji Ghulam Ali termed the role and powers of DGTO as martial administrator, as he said that he was teasing the representatives of the chambers.

The committee witnessed brawl between Senator Ilyas Bilour and DGTO. Senator Ilyas Bilour remarked civil servant should respect the parliamentarians. Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said that civil servant should respect the lawmakers including committee chairman and members.Senators Islamudin Sheikh, Sardar Yaqoob Nasir and Saifullah Bangish also attended the committee meeting.