Chambers, govt pledge to work for economic revival
LAHORE, July 10: Ten (10) chambers of commerce and industry in Punjab and the provincial government pledged on Tuesday to work in unison for much-cherished economic revival by formulating new `rules of business’ for trade and industry in the province.
The affirmation was made during a meeting between the chambers and the heads of provincial departments here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was also decided that the government departments would not issue notices to the industry and inspectors would be barred from visiting industrial units.
Punjab chambers were represented by their presidents including LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher, Vice President Saeeda Nazar, Faisalabad Chamber President Muzammil Sultan, Sialkot CCI chief Naeem Anwar Qureshi, Rawalpindi CCI chief Jawed Akhtar Bhatti, Vice President of Jhelum CCI Gul Ahmad, President of Jhang CCI Sheikh Mughees Ammad, Sahiwal CCI President Waseem Akhtar, Multan Chamber SVP Kh Mohammad Hussain, Sheikhupura CCI President Amjad Nazir Butt, Women Chamber of Commerce President Mrs Kokab Parveen, Rahim Yar Khan CCI President Muzaffar Saleem Chaudhry and SAARC Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik. Special Assistant to Chief Minister Mohammad Ali Mian attended the meeting on the instructions of the Punjab chief minister.
Provincial Secretary Industries Dr Shujaat Ali, Provincial Secretary Law Dr Syed Abdul Hasan Najmi, Secretary Labour Hasan Iqbal, Vice Chairman of Punjab Board of Investment and Trade Dr Miftah Ismael, Additional Secretary Home Amanullah Niazi and Director-General of Environment Maqsood Ahmad represented the Punjab government.
The issues discussed during the three-hour long interactive session included boiler inspections by the industries department, labour inspections by the labour department and issuance of notices by the environment department and social security. It was agreed by both the sides that a joint working group comprising MNA Pervaiz Malik, CM’s assistant Muhammad Ali Mian, PBIT vice-chairman Miftah Ismael and representatives of chambers of commerce would prepare and finalise a set of new laws to facilitate the industry.
All the provincial secretaries and the government officials attending the meeting assured their full cooperation to the businessmen and said that there would be no harassment of any industrialist.
On the issue of boiler inspections, the industries secretary said that this sort of inspections would be outsourced soon as a new law had already been worked out. He said after the implementation of new law, the boiler inspections would be carried out by insurance companies.
On the social security and environment related issues, it was agreed during the meeting that the respective departments would take respective chamber of commerce and industry on board before taking any decision regarding the issuance of notices to the industry.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said as the industry was passing through a challenging time and was in dire need of government help, all the provincial departments should encourage the businessmen so that the province could get maximum revenue in the shape of taxes.
He said the businessmen were ready to cooperate with all the government departments but if there was no business at all due to an acute energy shortage how could they be able to comply with the government directives. He said the entire business community was thankful to the Punjab chief minister who was making all-out efforts to ensure breathing space to the businesses.
CM’s Special Assistant Muhammad Ali Mian said for the first time in the history, top bureaucrats of the province were sitting with the business community to sort out the issues. He said that the government wanted to facilitate the businessmen.
Saarc Vice-President Iftikhar Ali Malik suggested that the industrial units or business groups that were facilitating their workers in their own hospitals must be exempted from social security inspections. He said the exemptions would encourage corporate social responsibility in the country.