FAISALABAD. Regional Chambers of Commerce & Industry must share their resources, database and problems to ensure comprehensive and balanced economic growth of their regions, said Engineer Hafiz Ihtesham Javed, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI). He was talking to a delegation of the Mirpur Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) that met him at FCCI here today.
He said that every Chamber has been mandated to facilitate its members in accordance with the ground realities. “However, their collaboration with other similar chambers of the area may gear up their performance and activities at the regional level”, he said and added that FCCI is an apex chamber of Pakistan. He said that Faisalabad is contributing 25% in total and 60 percent share in textile exports of Pakistan. “It has its own state-of-the- art and tailor made building where awareness sessions, workshops and symposiums are being regularly arranged for the awareness of its members. He said that help desks of different departments have also been established in it while more departments are being convinced to set up their help desks so that FCCI members could enjoy maximum facilities under one roof. He said that we have a “Khidmat Markaz” and offices of FIEDMC, SECP and FWCCI which have further enhanced its importance. He said that we are working to evolve a paperless environment in addition to ensuring dissemination of information and data on a real time basis.
Responding to a question, he said that for industrialization, we must bring down the Cost Of Doing Business (CODB) in addition to ensuring Ease Of Doing Business (EODB). “In this connection, FCCI has close liaison with the Government officials and 22 different departments”, he said and added that we also have separate sector specific standing committees which discuss their problems and submit their proposals to resolve the genuine issues.
Continuing, he said that all economic indicators are positive. “During the month of October our exports were all time high at $ 2 billion”, he said and added that exporters are getting maximum export orders. He said that his factory was facing shortage of labor for the first time during the last three decades while exporters are also making arrangements to start a third shift in their respective units. He said that the only negative point is lack of trust between Government and industrialists and to resolve this issue, Government must evolve and implement long term policies. He appreciated the Sialkot model but said that their entire exports are routed through their own port while in case of Faisalabad; our maximum exports are channelized through Karachi and other ports.
About the Cost Of Doing Business, he said that our importers and exporters have to pay Infrastructure Development Cess twice, first in Sindh and then in Punjab which enhance our CODB. He held 18th amendment responsible for this double taxation and said that FBR and PRA are also fighting for their own share of taxes.
Ch. Allah Ditta, President Mirpur Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that they intend to build their own multi storey complex and hence he is visiting FCCI to personally view the site plan and interiors of the FCCI complex. He said that both chambers should share their data and enhance cooperation to further improve their overall performance.
Ch. Muhammad Saeed, former President FPCCI said that there was a myth that maximum taxes are being paid by the salaried class. But now data has revealed that only 15% is being paid by the salaried class while remaining taxes are collected from the business community. He expressed satisfaction that Pakistan receives $ 28 billion remittances and if our exports continue to increase on the same pattern, we would be in a position to cross the target of US$ 50 billion.
Later presidents of the both chambers exchanged their mementos while Raja Emran Munir presented a gift to Chaudhary Talat Mahmood senior vice president of the FCCI.
The delegation of the MCCI was composed of Syed Shamraiz Hussain, Chaudhary Javed Iqbal, Chaudhary Faheem Akhtar, Mr. Asrarul Haq Qureshi, Mr. Waqas Mushtaq and M.R. Khan. Delegation also visited various parts and storeys of the FCCI Complex.