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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) organised a conference on ‘Revival of Economy’, which was attended by prominent business leaders from across Pakistan.

Those in attendance included Shehzad Ali Malik, Chairman of United Business Group (Lahore), Dr Gohar Ejaz, Patron-in-Chief of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Lahore), S M Tanveer, former chairman of APTMA (Karachi), Ghazanfar Bilour (Peshawar), Engr Darood Khan Achakzai (Quetta), former president of FPCCI Khalid Tawab, former senior vice president of FPCCI (Karachi) Qazi Akbar, Vice President of FPCCI (Chakwal) Khalid Iqbal Malik, Group Leader of ICCI Zafar Bakhtawari, Secretary General UBG Haji Afzal, former president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Peshawar) Naima Ansari, and former vice president of FPCCI (Islamabad).

The business leaders discussed key issues being faced by the economy and passed a resolution unanimously to steer the economy out of the current economic crisis. The resolution called upon the government to cooperate with the private sector in enhancing imports substitution and diversification of products basket and markets to boost exports that would help in reviving the fragile economy of the country.

The resolution said that being an agricultural country, Pakistan is spending US 12-13 billion dollars on the import of wheat, cotton, pulses and edible oil and stressed that their imports substitution in the country would save this amount and produce exports surplus as well. The resolution said that Pakistan is making 70% exports of only 3-4 products and demanded that the government should support the business community in increasing the exports of IT, engineering goods, pharmaceuticals and other products.

The resolution said that the shortage of dollars is the main cause of the rising economic crisis in the country and stressed that the government should consider offering 10 years’ tax holidays on depositing dollars in banks to improve forex reserves of the country. The resolution further demanded that the government should also consider offering a bonus scheme to exporters and foreign remitters to cover the difference between bank and open market dollar rate.

The resolution urged that the government should privatize all loss making public sector enterprises including PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Railways and electricity companies that would save around Rs 1000 billion annually.

Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed all the business leaders to the conference and stressed that the government should evolve a new strategy in consultation with the business community to address the current economic troubles.

Faad Waheed, Senior Vice President ICCI thanked the business leaders and all the participants of the conference and hoped that the resolution passed by the business leaders would be given due consideration by the government for implementation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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