LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Khawaja Imran Nazir and LCCI (Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry) President Abdul Basit Tuesday jointly inaugurated mobile van services for free chest screening of factory workers.
On this occasion, the minister said that this service was part of the Punjab government’s endeavors to provide the best healthcare facilities to the masses.
Khawaja Imran said the Punjab government had declared Tuberculosis (TB) as notifiable disease and a best mechanism had been devised for free diagnoses/treatment of the worker’s.
Abdul Basit said that such initiative was the need of the hour as Pakistan ranked 5th in the list of 22 countries with higher number of TB patients. It was estimated that around 50,000 people died annually just because of this deadly disease. Lack of awareness and healthcare facilities in rural areas were giving severity to this disease, he added.
The LCCI office-bearers also held separate meetings with Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) Managing Director Amjad Latif, and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Acting Secretary Dr M Usman and had detailed discussions on trade and industry related issues.
In his meeting, the SNGPL MD Amjad Latif said LNG had become an integrated part of consumption, as the country had no other option, therefore, it was being promoted as an alternative fuel.
He said situation took positive turn after arrival of LNG as it had brought down the production cost of power generation, adding that gas losses had come down to 8 per cent from 12 per cent while further improvement would be witnessed with the passage of time. Amjad Latif said the SNGPL had started giving new gas connections and this process would be expedited after operationalization of second terminal next month.
LCCI President Abdul Basit urged SNGPL to expedite the issuance of new gas connection to the industry, and industrial connections should be re-shifted from temporary RLNG to the old Sui Gas as it had increased the industrial input cost. Old tariffs should be applied on revival of disconnected gas connections and SNGPL should make all processes for ease to industries, he maintained.
In the meeting with TDAP Acting Secretary Dr. M. Usman, the LCCI President said decline in export was a matter of concern, therefore, TDAP should focus on exploring the market for Pakistani value-added items as about one half of Pakistan’s exports went to seven countries only, while one fourth exports consistently find their way in European Union.
He said that there was a lot about the potential of trade with regions and countries like SAARC, ASEAN, OIC, Central Asian Republics, Middle East, Africa, China and Iran for which a comprehensive strategy must be adopted to tap this potential. He said that Pakistan’s share was negligible in the global Halal Food Trade of $ 300 billion and its only 10 percent share could add $ 30 billion to country’s exports.
Abdul Basit also welcomed Pakistan Expo-2017 and assured to extend every possible cooperation to TDAP in this regard. While, TDAP Acting Secretary Dr. M. Usman highlighted the aims and objectives of Pakistan Expo-2017 and also highlighted the measures being taken by TDAP for boosting the exports.
LCCI former Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi, Muhammad Arshad Chaudhry, Mian Muhammad Nawaz, Tariq Mahmood, and its Executive Committee members were also present in the above mentioned events.
Meanwhile, speaking at a ‘Consultative Dialogue on Environmental Laws and their Implementation’, LCCI President urged the government to give five to ten years tax exemption to environment compliant industrial units that would attract others to follow the suit. He said that fast changing global economic scenario had provided them an opportunity to increase their exports to the desired level that could be achieved only by having compliance with international environmental standards. He said that Punjab Environment Protection Department should help business community and give that awareness about the environment standards.