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December 13, 2007
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Commerce ministers since 1997 came from LCCI

Lahore

December 13, 2007

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LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry provided a number of technocrats to serve in the federal and Punjab cabinets during the past two decades, with all federal commerce ministers since 1997 belonging to the LCCI.

Ishaq Dar of the PML-N, who is also a former president of the LCCI, became commerce minister in the second tenure of the Nawaz government. During the last 18 months of the government, he also assumed additional charge of the ministry of finance. Razzaq Dawood, a member of the LCCI, was commerce minister during the first three years of the Musharraf regime.

He was succeeded by Humayun Ahktar who also belongs to the Lahore chamber, with his business headquarters in the city. Caretaker Commerce Minister Shahzada Alam Munnoo is also a former president of the LCCI. He is a textile tycoon.

Federal Water and Power Minister Tariq Hameed is also a former president of the Lahore chamber. He also served as provincial finance minister during the military regime, headed in the Punjab by Khalid Maqbool and then served as Wapda chairman for five years before assuming the charge of the federal ministry in the caretaker setup. He is former chairman of Packages Limited.

Shahbaz Sharif, another former president of the Lahore chamber, became chief minister of the Punjab during the second tenure of the PML-N for over three years before General Musharraf toppled that government in October 1999.

Former chairman of the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association and LCCI member, Shahzad Azam Khan, has been inducted as minister for labour in the Punjab caretaker government. He also served twice as chairman of the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association.

However, most businessmen from Lahore, inducted in the federal and provincial governments, are not politicians. Business is still their main profession though a few of them have ventured into politics by handing over business affairs to their families. These include

Humayun Akhtar and Shahbaz Sharif.

Lahore also provided many technocrats to serve in the government. Federal Finance Minister Dr Salman Shah is an economist from Lahore. Shahid Kardar, another Lahore based economist, served as Punjab finance minister. Imtiaz Rastgar, who runs a reputable Lahore based engineering concern, has been CEO of the Engineering Development Board for two years.

He was replaced by Almas Hyder who is also an engineering entrepreneur from Lahore. Both are members of the LCCI. The first SMEDA chief, Khwaja Bilal, runs his carpet and apparel business from Lahore. First Tevta chairman, Sikander M Khan, is the chairman of Millat Group of Companies and former vice president of the Lahore chamber.

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