LCCI calls for revision of price fixation mechanism

LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday called for revision of price-determination/fixation mechanism as existing formula is likely to cause closure of smooth-running businesses besides denting the government reputation.

The call was given by LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari at a meeting with owners of Departmental Retail Stores convened by the Chairman LCCI Committee on Trade and Traders issues Muhammad Haroon Arora. The owners of all the leading Departmental Stores including President of their Association Chaudhry Ahmad Nawaz, General Secretary Karyana Merchants Association Ch Azmat Ali, Chief Executive Fair Marketing Jmail Ahmed, CEO Sewara Departmental Stores Mardan Ali Zaidi and Imran Saleemi of Rainbow Cash and Carry attended the meeting.

LCCI former President Bashir A Baksh, former Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Executive Committee Members Khawaja Khawar Rashid, Raja Hamid Riaz, Nasir Hameed Khan, S M Tariq and Talha Tayyab Butt were prominent among the speakers.

The LCCI President said that representatives of the departmental stores should be made part of Price Fixation Mechanism as unrealistic prices being determined by the District Administration without any consultation are not working while the owners of the stores are being harassed and forced to sell their products much below the cost of their purchase.

The LCCI President said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry was not against government’s inspections but there should be some standard operating procedures (SOPs) to visit a place and all the stakeholders must have knowledge about that SOPs as haphazard actions often cause undue damage.

The LCCI President also urged the District Coordination Officer (DCO) to immediately stop Price Control Magistrates from raiding departmental and Karyana stores as such an action is bound to create a wrong impression of reputed businesses.

“It takes years on years to win or build the trust of the customers but vanishes in matter of no time as soon as a police party enters into a shopping place under one pretext or the other.”

Engineer Sohail Lashari said that what is needed to be done is determination of prices of eatables and daily-use items in consultation with the stakeholders and once the government and the stakeholders come on same page about the rate of single item, everybody would be bound the charge the same price from the customers. But, he added, it was not possible for any businessman to buy goods on higher prices and sell it as per the control list that has no relevance to the actual price.

The Chairman of the Committee Muhammad Haroon Arora, earlier, informed the LCCI President that they had sought the LCCI help as registration of FIRs, heavy fines and raids have made it impossible for them to continue their businesses.

He said that there are almost ten grades of an item in the whole sale market and the departmental Stores buy the quality what is in demand in their area so how they can sell it as per the government control list. And above all, he said, the government has no right to fix the rate of the items when authorities have little control over the whole sale markets. Under what law huge penalties are being imposed on departmental and Karyana stores, he said.

He said that the government should maintain supplies instead forcing the business to sell their goods below the prices of their purchase.

He said that either the government should make upward revision in its control list or should ensure provision of these goods at lesser rates than their actual cost.

The other participants included: Irfan Haider, Muhammad Kashif, Tanvir Niaz and Faheemur Rehman.

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