ISLAMABAD: Governor Punjab, Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana has said that bringing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Pakistan was a major achievement of the current government as China came for investment in Pakistan on soft terms in CPEC at a difficult time.
However, he said that government of Pakistan should address the genuine concerns of local private sector on CPEC so that project could contribute in promoting local industry as well.
The Governor Punjab while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) during his visit to Chamber House on Friday said that he had discussed the concerns of business community on CPEC with Chinese Ambassador and added that China was interested in JVs and investment in Pakistan in textile, steel and agriculture sector.
Rafique Rajwana said that business community was the backbone of the economy and government should address its key issues to facilitate the growth of business activities. About Industrial Zone in Islamabad, he advised ICCI to send written proposal to Prime Minister and Chief Minister Punjab with copy to him and he would play role for the establishment of a new industrial zone for the business communities of twin cities.
He said businessmen were making useful contribution to tax revenue and stressed that FBR should take measures to reduce trust deficit with taxpayers. He said ease of doing business should be further improved to promote economic activities in the country. He assured the business community that he would act as their spokesperson and would take up their highlighted issues with relevant government authorities including the Prime Minister.
In his welcome address, President ICCI Sheikh Amir Waheed said that a Special Economic Zone was planned in Islamabad under CPEC , but CDA could not identify land for SEZ as yet. He said that Punjab Government should cooperate in identifying suitable land in the vicinity of federal capital for SEZ.
The President ICCI said local industry needed upgradation to compete in CPEC and government should remove duties on import of industrial machinery. He said high power tariffs and taxes should also be reduced for reducing production cost. He said Punjab Government has imposed overall 28% tax on export of manpower that should be reduced to promote manpower export. He said government should remove sales tax on purchases as no other country was imposing taxes on purchases.
Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President, Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI, Zubair Ahmed Malik Chairman Founder Group, Mian Akram Farid, Khalid Iqbal Malik, Mian Shaukat Masud, Baser Daud, Sheikh Pervez Ahmed, Khalid Chaudhry, Naeem Siddiqui and others also spoke at the occasion.
They said Pakistan’s exports had fallen, imports had risen, trade deficit had surged and foreign remittances had reduced and stressed that government should pay urgent attention to these issues to improve the economy.
They emphasized that government should make policies to promote industrialization instead of making Pakistan a trading nation. They said many industrialists from textile and other sectors were moving to China and other countries and urged that government should create conducive environment to curb the flight of capital and promote investment in the country.