Business community expects Dar to solve problems: Farid
Sarwar Awan Islamabad
MNA Shaista Pervaiz Malik has said that the government is aware of the problems faced by the business community, and the difficult situations the businessmen are currently going through.
She was addressing as guest of honour at a dinner hosted by former president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry M. Akram Farid in honour of President ICCI Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari and Executive Members and outgoing President Muhammad Shakeel Munir.
She said that political instability and turmoil is a poison for the country’s economy.
Shaista said that it was imperative that the government be allowed to run, so that the country’s economy can improve, and the problems of the business community are reduced. “Efforts will be made to provide additional economic opportunities to women and give them a respectable position in the society. The country cannot develop without the full participation of women in economic activities, for which all partners including the government and the private sector will have to make an effort. He said that we will continue efforts for positive change and development.
Former MNA and ex-advisor to the Prime Minister Muhammad Hanif Abbasi congratulated Bakhtawari and his team. Addressing the business community he said, “He will fully support ICCI’s efforts to establish new industrial zones and represent the current ICCI President on the CDA Board.”
He said that 11 new routes have been finalized for Islamabad and will provide quality transport to the citizens very soon and the citizens will see electric buses plying on the roads soon which will reduce the traffic flow by 50%.
He said that all the dead development projects of the twin cities including Bara Kahu Bypass and Rawal Road Interchange have been revived to solve traffic problems and promote business activities. He further assured that he would cooperate in expediting the work on IJP Road and resolving all outstanding issues including the de-selling of Centaurus Mall.
Former Chairman Founder Group Mian Akram Farid said that the bank sector benefited from the fluctuations of the dollar, because the industry’s letter of credit was available to the banks, the banks took 8 rupees more than the dollar from the industry.
The cost of doing business has increased many times due to the dollar becoming expensive and the huge increase in electricity price and 18 percent interest rate. There is chaos and despair in business circles and many industries have closed down or are about to close down, he said, adding that many industries have imported billions of dollars of machinery at low markup rates in the past few years after getting loans from banks.
This has made access to much-needed finance for the growth of industries more difficult. He urged the government to bring down the rate of markup keeping in mind the other economics of the region. He said that with the current markup rate, non-performing loans and unemployment in the private sector will increase tremendously.
He said interest rates should be low to increase the rate of investment and create jobs for the youth entering the workforce every year. It also avoids that an increase in the mark-up rate will lead to a storm of inflation and the manufacturing unit will be shut down. The industries which are already difficult to run will become more difficult and this will create a storm of unemployment, so the government should pay special attention to this and solve this problem.
He said real estate, being the core of the construction industry, has more than 40 related industries that are associated with it. The shutdown is causing thousands of people to become unemployed, and the government is also losing revenue from sales tax and income tax. He added that the appointment of Ishaq Dar Sahib is welcome and the business community expects him to take steps to solve their problems. Speaking at the dinner, Ambassador at Large for Investment Zeeshan Shah said that in the country it is very important to give a good favorable environment to businessmen for investment, and added that for investment in the IT sector, a summit is being held in the name of Investment in Pakistan on November 12 in Silicon Valley, IT companies are visiting the summit. American IT companies are also participating in the summit, he further said that the delegation of Islamabad Chamber will go to any country the government wants to visit. He further said that the government will facilitate the delegation of the Islamabad Chamber to any country it wants to go to.