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FAISALABAD: Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) is making strenuous efforts to resolve the problems confronted by its members in addition to contributing its proactive role in CSR activities and infrastructure development of Faisalabad, said Dr Khurram Tariq, President FCCI.

Addressing the participants of the 38th Mid-Career Management Course of the National Institute of Management (NIM), Islamabad, he said that FCCI has 8500 members belonging to more than 100 sectors and sub-sectors.

“FCCI have to establish working relationships with the federal, provincial and local administration to resolve their issues at three tiers, he said and added that we give our input in budget formulation and policy making at the federal level.

He said that we have close liaison with the provincial caretaker government and successfully convinced it to release withheld funds for the different uplift projects of Faisalabad.

He said that FCCI was helping local administration in the fields of education, health and environment protection by adopting schools and hospitals and establishing Miyawaki forest in addition to the beautification of the city. He expressed concern over uncertainty and said that fluctuation in PKR has made it difficult for the industrialists and exporters to fix the prices of their exportable surplus.

He contradicted the government’s claim that it was providing subsidies to the textile sector. He said that the recoveries of FESCO are 99.2% and we are bearing the financial burden of other inefficient discos. He said that it is an issue of cross subsidies and exporters could not export the cost of inefficiencies of the government departments and wrong decisions of the previous governments.

Responding to a question about the gap between import and export, he said that the main reason is the difference between exchange rates. He further said that we had deregulated our export sector in haste without waiting for the development of the import substitution industry.

He said that the smuggling has been plugged and if this momentum persists, we are expecting growth of the SME sector in 2024. He said the FCCI is part of various boards of the government departments including Compliance, EDF and Export Facilitation etc.

“We played an important role in the formulation of trade policy,” he said and added that we always remained in touch with the Ministry of Commerce which is our parent department.

About the minimum use of GSP Plus facility, he said that it is our general problem as we failed to enhance our per acre yield of wheat from 35 maund for the last many years. He said that it is our collective, structural and multifarious problem which starts from the education of the children.

He said that we must encourage and provide students to think out of box which would help in promoting the culture of creativity and innovation.

About new FBR SRO 111, he said that we have already circulated it among our members but we must sensitize our members with repeated reminders and explaining its possible impacts in a more simple and clear manner. He said that we generally become active when a law has been enforced and everyone starts feeling its heat. He said that the issue of FATF has not been concluded and yet many more compliances are required. Commenting on the poor efficiency of industries in the energy sector, he said that currently our generation is surplus. “Similarly industrial sector was consuming only 343 MMCF gas out of 2800 MMCF,” he said and added that we have adopted a quick fix solution of increasing prices which has a negative impact on the industrial growth.

He said that the piped gas supply has become obsolete all over the world and we should also get rid of it by introducing canned or cylinderised supplies.

About business related disputes, Dr Khurram Tariq said that these complaints are simultaneously received by chambers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, TDRO and MOC. “Currently there is no clear mechanism for dispute resolution and we must work on it to provide a globally acceptable mechanism,” he said and added that TDRO was established ten years ago but Dispute Resolution Act has been promulgated in August this year. He said that it is a serious issue as FDI is directly linked with it. He quoted the example of Turkiye and said that it has settled business disputes to the tune of $ 600 billion during the last few years.

He said we have a century old arbitration law which has lost its efficacy. He said that a new draft has been finalized and expected to be approved and enforced very soon.

Mohammad Imran, Directing Staff NIM Islamabad said that study tours of under training officers is an integral part of the institute’s strategy which provide them an opportunity to interact with the stakeholders and understand ground realities.

Later, Senior Vice President Dr Sajjad Arshad offered vote of thanks while President Dr Khurram Tariq presented FCCI memento to Mohammad Imran. He also reciprocated by presenting a shield of NIM to Dr Khurram Tariq. Vice President Haji Mohammad Aslam Bhalli was also present during this meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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