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PESHAWAR: Restructuring capabilities and streamlining the public sector processes are keys to enable ease of doing business in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said Adnan Jalil, Minister for Industries, Commerce and Technical Education Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He was speaking at the Meeting of the National Network of Economic Thinktanks - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chapter organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here.

He informed that restricting human resources in TEVTA has so far resulted in saving of Rs 2.6 million monthly. He further said that financial and power constraints faced by the caretaker government will prevent delivery of relief to the business community. He said that the business community is struggling to survive in an unbalanced environment and stressed the need to streamline the procedure and processes to avoid delays.

Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI in his welcome remarks said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s southern cluster has immense untapped economic potential. He said that such deliberative sessions before the announcement of budget will help in articulating policy advice for the government to reflect on for strengthening trade and economic development.

Ahad Nazir, Head Center for Private Sector Engagement while sharing the preliminary findings of a survey conducted by SDPI in KP said that difficulty in graduation for firms was observed which is hindering increasing in firms becoming exports.

He further said that poor coordination between government departments results in duplication of policy burden and lack of inclusive industry data results in policies which are generalized and not tailored based on different demographics.

He informed that SDPI will serve as the Secretariat for National Network of Economic Thinktanks. He reiterated SDPI’s interest on bridging the policy gaps identified by government departments, updating private sector policy developments, review policy documents and bridging gaps between academia and industry for strengthening research environments to meet the industry demand.

Iqbal Sarwar, Director Business Facilitation, KP-BoIT informed that a mapping activity resulted in identification of 170 regulations for businesses in KP which need to be simplified and thirty regulations so far have been simplified or removed.

Muhammad Salman Khan, Secretary General, Swabi Chamber of Commerce, and Industry stressed on educating exporters on international standards and accreditation to tap into the export potential to regional markets.

Qurat-ul-Ain, CEO, Ain Consulting stressed on designating focal persons for improving intra-department coordination to simplify regulatory environment and suggested forming committees to connect industries, academia, and government bodies to improve their communication and collaboration.

Kiran Fida, Project Manager, CGPA stressed on briefing business community on regulations and emphasized on addressing challenges faced by women entrepreneurs through policy initiatives.

Dr Muhammad Yasir, Chairman, Department of Management Sciences, Hazara University reiterated bridging academia-industry gap to promote indigenous production of chemicals and other products and reducing import reliance.

Rasheed Paracha, Founder of Kohat Chamber of Commerce, and Industry said that unfavorable regulatory environment have discouraged locals and the sector is dominated by Afghan refugees. He urged for commercial policy to create a level playing field and limiting the number of businesses that refugees can run to enable small local businesses to flourish.

Rashid Aman, Manager, SMEDA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stressed upgrading the scale of cottage industries to transform the export landscape in the province.

Ishfaq Ahmed Afridi Manager, Business Planning & Support, Commercial Department, Government of KP said that specified economic zones have been developed in many cites based on specialized products to add value to products.

Taimur Khan, Institutional Development Expert, SEED urged for smart solution and public-private partnership to overcome the sector’s challenges.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Tariq Qurashi May 02, 2023 01:09pm
Mr,Iqbal Sarwar is doing a great job. Simplifying the red-tape that is strangling businesses is a very good initiative. I hope the other provinces also take note and implement similar reforms.
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