ICCI and KATI call for promoting ease of doing business to revive the economy

  • November 13, 2023
Faraz ur Rehman, President, Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) said that Pakistan's exports have dwindled by 5% during July-September this year compared to last year while the country needs a substantial increase in exports to revive the economy. He stressed that the government should address the key issues of the export sector enabling it to play an active role in steering the economy out of crisis situation. He said this while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI). Prominent businessmen of the city including Atif Ikram Sheikh, Presidential candidate of UBG for FPCCI and Ms. Rizwana Asif, President, Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, were also present on this occasion.

Faraz ur Rehman said that the export sector needs easy credit to expand & grow, but the 22 percent interest rate in Pakistan is a major obstacle in its development, due to which, during July-October this year, the credit to private sector credit shrunk by over 290% compared to the same period of last year. He said that only the business sector can bring the economy out of the current troubles, however, it needs lower production cost and ease of doing business to put the economy on the path of sustainable growth. He resolved that KATI will play its role in cooperation with ICCI to promote the interests of the business community.

Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the FBR has assured the IMF to bring 1.5 million new taxpayers into the tax system by the end of June 2024. However, the current tax system of the country is creating problems for taxpayers instead of facilitating them due to which the potential taxpayers shy away from this system. He urged that the government, in consultation with the stakeholders, should bring drastic reforms in the tax system to make it business friendly, which will significantly increase the country's tax revenue. He said that appointing more tax officers in the RTOs is not the real solution to the problem, rather reduced tax rates and a simple tax system can attract more taxpayers.

Khalid Iqbal Malik, Group Leader ICCI, said that the business community is driving the economy and the government should consult them to formulate short- and long-term policies for revival of the economy.

Zafar Bakhtawari, Former President ICCI and Secretary General UBG Pakistan said that the United Business Group has nominated a young and emerging industrialist from Islamabad as its Presidential candidate for FPCCI and hoped that after winning, he would set new standards of serving the cause of the business community.

Atif Ikram Sheikh, Presidential candidate of UBG for FPCCI resolved that if he wins the FPCCI election, he will work closely with the government to address the key issues of the business community and facilitate them in business promotion.