LAHORE: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday lauded the economic direction of the government terming it encouraging in the present circumstances.
Provision of natural gas to the export-oriented textile industry in Punjab will help country benefit from the recently awarded GSP plus status to Pakistan, it said.
Government should try to fulfil all the energy needs to the export-oriented industry to fully benefit from the trade discounts amid chronic energy shortages, said Zubair Ahmed Malik, President of the FPCCI on his return from Belgium and Germany where he attended critical GSP plus meetings.
He also studied the operations of various chambers, trade bodies and associations in the both countries and exchanged views with the trade officials.
Speaking to the business community, Malik said that the decision to provide gas to industry in Punjab will save jobs, provide employment to many and help Pakistan improve the forex reserves through exports.
He called upon the industrial units benefitting from trade concessions to upgrade their plans and boost capacity.
Zubair Ahmed Malik said that PM’s youth loan scheme will boost economic activity as young are fully capable to produce results if they are provided opportunities.
Welcoming the culmination of the power sector circular debt, he said that it was one of the biggest threats to the economy which blocked badly needed investment in the power sector.
Addition of 1700MW power to the system by the PML-N government is a good step but it is not enough to greatly improve the industrial production, he observed.
The FPCCI chief said that promise of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to ensure greater clarity is encouraging as economy cannot prosper in absence of transparency.
The improved performance of the stock exchange is reflective of the policies of the government which must be sustained.
Government should find a way to provide gas to the fertiliser sector through improved production and import otherwise country will have to spend Rs 450 billion on import and subsidy or brave reduced crops, he noted.
Government should revisit some policies, reduce deficit, boost development expenditure, lure foreign investors and overseas Pakistanis, and pay special attention to generate revenue from millions who have never been taxed.