Trade: (FPCCI not to compromise on interests of business community: Alam)

ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Abdul Rauf Alam on Monday said the Apex chamber will cooperate with the government at every level without compromising the interests of business community.

He said government has achieved economic stability and now time has come to push for privatization and reforming public sector enterprises while preferring growth over stability to improve exports, revenue and jobs.

He said this while speaking at a dinner hosted by Secretary General UBG Zubair Tufail in honour of UBG Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik, UBG Patron-in-Chief SM Muneer and others.

He said FPCCI has cooperated a lot with the government in last one year, now authorities should take business community in confidence before taking economic decisions without which the success of such moves remain uncertain, he demanded.

He said growth rate, forex reserves and current account deficit situation has improved while large scale manufacturing has picked up but issue of refunds, expanded tax base and reforms in the bleeding corporations are yet to be addressed.

Pakistan’s tax capacity is over 22 percent of the GDP but the revenue gas is almost 11 percent which is unsustainable, he said, adding that bridging the tax gap can help country resolve all problems including dependence on domestic and foreign loans.

Lauding the energy policy of the government, he said incumbent administration is trying hard to ensure dependable supply of electricity but it should also initiate reforms and upgradation as the national grid tripped twice within few days plunging two provinces into darkness.

He said the government should also consider overhauling power bureaucracy which is sluggish in response and hold those responsible for negligence as they are punishing masses and business community.

He demanded of the government to immediately reduce petroleum prices as international price is at the lowest in last three decades.

At the occasion, SM Muneer said that UBG will continue to serve the interests of business community and that he is proud of efforts of Mr. Alam and his team. TDAP has been cleansed of corruption and now it is bracing to help exporters in a great way, he added.

Zubair Tufail asked the newly-elected president FPCCI to try best to come up to the expectations of business community, try to get refunds cleared and push for duty free import of plants and machinery.