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August 13, 2017



PM assures business community of removing impediments

KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday met the business community and assured of resolving their problems, which were impeding manufacturing growth of the country, a statement said.

Members and office bearers of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), and Pakistan Business Council (PBC) met the prime minister at the Governor House.

Prime Minister Abbasi said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government would continue the policies made under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

He said the PML-N government, after evolving consensus among stakeholders, and due to the unmatched sacrifices of the law enforcement and security agencies, has restored peace and glory of the financial hub of the country.

The PM said the objectives of the government were economic growth, creation of jobs, and increase in tax collection.

“In fact, the objectives of the government and those of the business community are the same. If the business community did not grow, the government would not be able to achieve its objectives,” the PM said. 

The PM said the government and the business community would collectively resolve the issues. He assured the business community of holding frequent interactions in the coming days for their proposals and suggestions in this regard.

He assured the business community that their proposals for economic growth and increase in investment would be given priority. The need was to work in unison for achieving the shared objectives, the PM stressed. FPCCI president Zubair Tufail apprised the prime minister of the falling exports and identified the high cost of production as a major reason for this decline.

The apex trade body urged the prime minister to take immediate measures for increasing the exports and reducing trade deficit. Tufail said electricity charges should be reduced by Rs3/unit and similarly gas tariff should also be reduced to make our exports competitive in the international and regional markets.

The business community also apprised the prime minister about the huge gap in balance of payment as current account deficit widened sharply.

Tufail informed the prime minister that imports were at record high of $53 billion, which should be brought down to curtail the trade deficit. He demanded an immediate ban on unnecessary imports.

The business community also requested the prime minister to allocate Rs100 billion for infrastructure development in Karachi, which was the commercial and financial hub of the country.

The members of the business community congratulated the prime minister on assuming his office and thanked him for the meeting on his first maiden visit to Karachi. They lauded the economic reforms undertaken by the former prime minister for putting the country on the road to peace and progress.

Interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said the security policy initiated under former prime minister Nawaz Sharif would be pursued with full vigour. “The security gains would be further consolidated,” he added.

Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair, State Bank of Pakistan governor, and FBR chairman were also present during the meeting, the PM office media wing said in a statement.