LAHORE: Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that disparity in gas prices between the provinces was a biggest issue but is has been resolved by implementing uniform price across the country.
He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, Vice President Zeshan Khalil, Tariq Hameed, Mian Misbah-ur-Rehman, Almas Hyder, Khawaja Shahzad Nasir, Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigol and Executive Committee Members also spoke on the occasion.
Governor Punjab said that uniform gas prices would be beneficial for the business community and would help enhance exports. He said that partnership between the government and business community is a must for progress and prosperity. He said that today exports and imports are around $ 20 billion and $ 58 billion respectively due to bad policies of the previous government. Exports of pharmaceutical came down to $ 200 million from $ 400 million. He said country cannot be economically stable without boosting exports. He said that GSP Plus was a difficult task but achieve successfully for the country. Under GSP Plus Status, Governor said, exports of textile to the Eurozone enhanced by 47% percent which had added $ 3 billion to the exports figures but benefits achieved from GSP Plus facility are far less than the potential.
Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said that per hectare yield of cotton in Pakistan is 700 kg as compared to India and European countries where it is 2000 kg per hectare. Likewise fisheries exports of Pakistan are far less than India. He said that production of fisheries can be increased from one ton per acre to 5 ton. He said that promotion of fisheries production in rural areas can generate huge employment opportunities and can discourage the trend of migration from rural to urban areas. He said that smuggling is one of the biggest challenges that must be tackled with iron hands as it is causing huge loss to the local industries and national exchequer.
He said that provision of clean water is one of the top priorities of the Punjab government. He said that government not has sufficient funds for provision of clean water in entire Punjab therefore generous people should come forward and help the government in this regard. About commercialization of Canal road, Governor invited the proposals from the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He said that campus established by the universities, remained fail to maintain quality of education. Universities would have to maintain education quality and campus delivering below the quality would be closed at any cost. He urged the Vice Chancellors to issue degrees to those students who have qualified for it. Students are asset of the country and can come to him for resolution of their issues.
The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed said that withholding tax on banking transactions is unjustified and should be withdrawn immediately. He said that taxation system should be restructured because government is burdening those 0.8 million people who are already in tax net. He said that rate of duties and taxes should also be reduced to encourage taxpayers.
He said that Governor Punjab played a key role in winning GSP Plus Status for the country in 2013. Renewal of this status is a good omen for the country. He said that personal interest of Governor Punjab can help Pakistan get maximum access to the European markets. He also called for reduction in electricity, gas and petroleum prices. He said that Canal Road should be re-commercialized in the larger interest of the business communit