LAHORE: A high-powered delegation of National Defense University (NDU) comprising Members Parliament, high officials of Armed Forces and Bureaucrats had a study tour of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The LCCI President Almas Hyder, Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir, Vice President Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigal and head of the delegation Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Mughees Afzal spoke on the occasion while the LCCI executive committee members were present on the occasion.
The LCCI President Almas Hyder answered the quires of the delegation members regarding investment of private sector in defense sector, foreign direct investment, income tax & sales tax refunds to the industry ease of doing business and knowledge based economy.
To a question, Almas Hyder said that during the last one decade, taxation system remained focused to overcome budget deficit which posed huge challenges for the industrial sector. This taxation system made Pakistan’s industry uncompetitive. “Recently I had a meeting with the Prime Minister Imran Khan and other top officials talked about high number and rates of duties & taxes”, the LCCI president said and added that producers of wealth and taxes should be given more respect than the consumer.
About investment in maritime sector, the LCCI President said that cumbersome system of registration with defense sector, difficult procurement and payment system, awful test trial procedures are impeding the investment. These issues must be resolved to encourage investment of private sector in defense sector.
Almas Hyder said that at present unavailability of funds for businesses is a big challenge. He said that 10 to 15 per cent working capital of the companies is held with the government in the form of income tax and sales tax refunds.
He said that the Lahore Chamber started work on Ease of Doing Business in 2015 and before nobody was talking about this important indicator. Previous government adopted some of our suggestions which improved Ease of Doing Business index by 11 notches.
The LCCI President said that good rules and regulations of the state always encourage and channelize the investment. He further stated that we have to portray good picture of the country to grab much-needed foreign investment.
To another question, Almas Hyder said that trading across the border is an important economic indicator. Businessmen are facing various problems in this regard therefore procedures, documents and inspection etc should be made easier.
About LCCI, he said that its mission is to be the finest organization to serve the business community and to conduct its practices in the best possible professional manner. It is keen to act as a bridge between the business community and policy makers. LCCI aims to promote trade and investment in the country through securing a business friendly environment in the country. It facilitates the business community in the resolution of their problems by keeping them aware of the opportunities and challenges originating from the globalization of trade & investment. The chamber identifies the issues faced by the business community and their possible solutions with the input of more than 200 standing committees related to various sectors. These issues are taken up with the relevant Government officials for their resolution.
The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigal said that LCCI prepares budget proposals and sends them to government for consideration so that tax anomalies could be rectified and private sector representatives may be encouraged to take new business initiatives. LCCI does not believe in working in isolation. We have signed a lot of MOUs with national and international organization directly related to trade and other important fields like banking, education, diplomatic affairs etc. We are trying our best to optimally utilize our influence in the greatest interest of Pakistan.