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January 18, 2008

LCCI criticises empowering official to act against traders


January 18, 2008

LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has strongly criticised new amendment in SRO 471(I)2007, which empowers Director General Intelligence & Investigation to access record, documents, power to summon persons, searches under warrant, power of adjudication and reference to High Court.

In a press statement issued Thursday, the LCCI President Muhammad Ali Mian, Senior Vice President, Mian Muzaffar Ali and Vice President Shafqat Saeed Piracha said that powers to arrest businessmen, adjudication and access to records would force to close industrial units in the country. These powers would not only hamper business environment in the country but would also create harassment among the business circles. They said due to malpractices of 2% corrupt elements, which is not part of business community, 98% of patriot businessmen would face severe constraints in their daily business affairs. They further said that when General Pervez Musharraf takes charge in 1999, revenue collection was around Rs347 billion, which has now reached at Rs1025 billion showing an increase of more than Rs850 billion. This increase in revenue collection is indicator of the contribution made by the business community of Pakistan.

They said at present Pakistan is facing multidimensional challenges at national and international fronts, introduction of new unlimited powers to Director General Intelligence would create harassment among the 98% honest and patriot industrialists and traders. They were of the view that there are some anti state element who are creating anarchy and mistrust among business community and government.

They said due to current waive of lawlessness, terrorism activities, electricity and gas shortage, more than 50% industrial units have already been closed and with the renewed powers to Director General Intelligence, the remaining industries would forced to close down their business.

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