KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra warned of repercussions if policymakers continued to exhibit laxity towards various issues being highlighted by KCCI, the largest chamber of the country and representative of the mainstream of economic and trading activities.
While expressing sheer dismay over government’s attitude towards resolving the issues being faced by business community of Karachi, Iftikhar Vohra said that dozens of letters, followed by reminders were sent to various ministers, particularly Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Tariq Bajwa and others. They all were requested to visit KCCI so that some of the most pressing issues could be discussed in detail with a view to look for their resolution but, unfortunately, none of them bothered to visit KCCI which was a matter of grave concern.
“These ministers have plenty of time to spend on talk shows of various TV Channels to give political statements, make tall claims, blame and confront their opponents but they have no time for listening to business community’s grievances,” he said, adding that the Karachi chamber, which represents majority of Karachi city’s business and industrial committee, was constantly being ignored.
“During my personal visit to Islamabad from time to time, I have been requesting senior ministers to at least listen to the problems of business community by visiting the chamber and they assure to do so but never show up at KCCI which clearly indicates their unwillingness to face the business community of Karachi or take them on board,” he said.
The president KCCI said Karachi city was receiving step-motherly treatment, while all discretionary powers have been bestowed to various departments in order to further squeeze the loyal taxpayers of Karachi city only.
Vohra said the KCCI had been receiving dozens of complaints every day pertaining to taxation issues, poor law and order situation, electricity, water and gas crisis, infrastructure and many other issues affecting the local businesses.
He said that despite extremely non-conducive business environment, the business and industrial community of Karachi city was trying its best to stay afloat but lack of will to listen to and resolve various issues had put the business community in a very confusing situation.
He said that business community here was capable enough to pull the country out of the ongoing economic crisis but that could only be possible if the government extended its full support.
President KCCI said that the Karachi chamber would make one last attempt to get their attention by writing final letters to various federal ministers. The business and industrial community of Karachi was losing its patience and any failure to respond to KCCI’s request would leave no other option for them but to go for repercussions.
Furthermore, he said the Karachi chamber also planned to invite all heads political parties at KCCI in order to get their consensus on one-point agenda ie to devise and implement ‘Charter of Economy’, which was the only solution to the ills being faced by Pakistan those days.
He said the current state of affairs demanded to introduce and implement Charter of Economy, an idea floated by Chairman Businessmen Group and ex-president KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli some five to six years ago which all political parties must sign and implement.
“To recover the ailing economy, the government should constitute Charter of Economy”, president KCCI urged, adding that the entire nation was in a dire need to constitute the proposed Charter of Economy or roadmap in consultation with the business and industrial community and endorsed by all political parties.
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