LCCI urges Govt. to build new water reservoirs

Lahore: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry in the second edition of its quarterly journal “Economic Outlook” has invited the attention of the government towards depleting water resources that could put the country’s growth on stake in coming years.

In its Economic Outlook, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has advised the government to focus on water and energy issues on priority basis and allocate as much as possible funds for water reservoirs to ensure water availability for the agriculture sector and to generate cheap hydel power.

The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Pakistan is going to face severe water shortage in near future as water resources of the country are depleting at a rapid pace. The article on water conversation describes the repercussions of the water crisis for industrial sector and also suggests strategies for water management and conservation.

He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is trying to unveil the tremendous potential of Pakistani products in African markets by not only discussing the current trade scenario of African countries but also by analyzing sector wise potential for Pakistani exporters. He said that the major obstacles in enhancing trade with African countries are also highlighted in the LCCI Economic Outlook.

He said that Pakistan is among the top ten kinnow producers of the world. The Economic Outlook has highlighted the tremendous scope of enhancing Pakistani kinnows exports to the developed world markets.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that the International petroleum prices have declined by around 50% in the last one year. The Economic Outlook discussed the reasons behind the sharp decline in petroleum prices and its impact on the economy of Pakistan.

Some large scale fire incidents have happened in major business centres and industrial concerns. The LCCI in its Economic Outlook has highlighted the major causes of fire incidents and suggests suitable measures to avoid such type of incidents in future.

The LCCI President said that the exports of Pakistani leather products have been stagnant around US$1 billion for the last few years whereas the leather exports of our neighboring countries have increased by more than 70% in the last four to five years. Our research analyzes the reasons behind stagnation in leather exports and also suggests suitable measures for the development of leather industry in Pakistan.

The LCCI President Ijaz A Mumtaz said that the very objective of the LCCI is to give a helping hand to the government to expedite economic uplift of the country.

“Almost all areas of the economy including agriculture sector would be thoroughly discussed in the LCCI’s ‘Economic Outlook’ in its upcoming issue,” he said.

Mumtaz added that the agriculture sector must now be upgraded into process and semi-process industry.

The value addition for the agricultural produce should go beyond dependence on cotton textile. Cooked and semi-cooked food should become the main engine of growth. The issue of governance for providing security to the economic zones must run high on the agenda of the state.

“Our potential for strategic location has been undermined by disturbances in Balochistan and border areas of K-P. It has badly affected Gwadar’s potential to serve as the trade gateway from Central Asia to ASEAN and South African territory.”

He said that Pakistanis could get rid of the loan culture by building water reservoirs including Diamer Bhasha and Kalabagh Dams. He said that $3 billion could be saved only through the completion of Kalabagh Dam and up to 40% of oil import bill could be curtailed if this project is given the go ahead.

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