PPI Original Text (PPI-OT): Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges all the political parties to join hands with private sector to boost economy

Lahore, May 10, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday urged all the political parties to join hands with the private sector to bring the economy out of the present state of doom and gloom.

In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that political debate and economic policy considerations require convergence at this critical juncture when the country is witnessing closure of businesses and resultant lay-offs, sharp decline in all sorts of investment, surge in crime rate and inflation.

The LCCI President said that Pakistan, at this point in time, is in dire need of stability in policy making and strong institutions and to achieve the very objective, both the politicians and the business leaders would have to join their heads for finding out a common economic agenda.

To compete head-to-head with the great nations of the world, Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said, the country needs a selfless and visionary leadership at all tiers who has the ability to think beyond tomorrow to tackle all the governance-related issues and for the sake of future generations.

The LCCI President said that all the political forces should, without any further delay, initiate consultations with the economic leadership, including the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, to chalk out an elaborate plan of action, aimed at reducing dependence on external assistance and achieving the long-cherished economic goals. “This is a prerequisite to help reduce dependence on International Financial Institutions (IFIs) like International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and for paving way for self-reliance in coming years.

He said that in a bid to bridge fast widening fiscal deficit, the government should immediately stop all borrowings, foreign or domestic and draw up a strategy to push exports. “Heavy and unprecedented government borrowings in the yester years have pushed the process of industrialisaton to the wall.”

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that availability of cheaper equity, by curtailing high mark-up rates and highest-ever banking spread, is a prerequisite to help expedite the process of industrialization in the country that in turn would also bring down the graph of unemployment. “Unemployment is mother of a number of social ills being witnessed by the country today and the private sector has the solution provided it is facilitated through a proper methodology.”

He also stressed the need for an early consensus in all the provinces for early initiation of work on mega water reservoirs including Kalabagh Dam to overcome electricity shortage and the power tariff issue. They said that huge coal reserves and existing potential to produce electricity through solar means also needs a workable and time-bound strategy after due consultation of public and private sectors.

He said that the country’s export base could be widened by encouraging especially the local investors and then the foreign investors who have lost their trust in existing policy framework. “The local investors have the ability to convince the foreign investors for investment in various sectors.”

The LCCI President said that the lack of proper planning and half-heartedness to harness the marvellous resources the country owns, Pakistan has become one of the most economically and socially challenged nations.

The LCCI office-bearers said that if the political forces in the country failed to respond to the wakeup call of the private sector with true intentions, external uncontrollable factors some day would roll over us.

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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