Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry urge the government to announce a special package for ailing cottage industry

Lahore, June 21, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday urged the government to announce a special package for ailing cottage industry to offset the financial losses it has suffered because of unprecedented and unscheduled power cuts and highest-ever electricity tariff.

The LCCI Acting President Kashif Younis Meher was talking to a 25-member delegation of cottage industry belonging to Daroghawala, Bund Road, Dawood Colony and Baghbanpra and headed by Chairman All Pakistan Cottage Industry and Small Traders Ghulam Sarwar Malik. Haji Sultan Mehmood, Haji Barkat Munir, Mohammad Umer and Mian Mohammad Nasrullah were prominent among the delegates.

Kashif Younis Meher said that the package for Cottage Industry must include one-slab low electricity tariff, power supply for at least 8 to10 hours at a stretch and its employees limit should be raised to 20 persons instead of existing five persons.

The LCCI Acting President said that the high rates of electricity being charged from them and longer hours power cuts have totally destroyed the small businesses therefore the government should come up with a package of incentives in shape of cut in electricity tariff and power outages duration. He said that it is beyond the understanding of the Lahore chamber of commerce and industry that why these clusters of the cottage industry have not so far been given the industrial area status.

He said that the government must understand the importance of cottage industry in the country as it is not only generating revenue for the government but also providing jobs to million of people. He said that it was very unfortunate that while preparing schedule for power cuts the LESCO authorities do not consult the stakeholders.

He said that Mominpura Industrial area that has yet not been granted the status of industrial area despite repeated assurances by the government is a hub of cottage industry and now-a-days these small businessmen are sitting idle only because of senseless power cuts by the LESCO.

Kashif Younis Meher also urged the Labor department and relevant authorities to undertake a systematic review of the existing definition of the cottage industry in line with international parameters. The review is important given the change in economic realities in Pakistan and the needs of cottage industry.

He said that all the places where upto twenty people are working should be declared cottage industry instead of present strength of five workers. He said that around the globe cottage industry is considered the backbone of the economy and facilitated in all possible ways but in Pakistan the situation is the other way round.

Earlier, the delegation gave a detailed briefing to LCCI Acting President over the challenges and the problems being faced by them. They said that City District Government should be asked to exempt auto parts cottage industry from Professional Tax as it was already exempted.

Vice President of Moninpura Cottage Engineering Industries Autoparts Owners Association Mohammad Altaf, General Secretary Mohammad Umer Mughal, Joint Additional Secretary Haji Barkat Munir, Joint Secretary Ghulam Murtaza, Information Secretary Mohammad Javed and Vice Chairman Haji Allah Ditta also spoke on the occasion.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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