Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Business (LCCI) President Kashif Anwar has urged the government to support local industry in order to significantly increase exports. Speaking at an award presentation ceremony held in honour of leading exporters, he said the domestic industry is facing multiple problems. He suggested that regulatory duty, custom duty, and additional custom duty on the components, machinery, and raw materials being imported by small and medium enterprises, should be abolished. In addition to boosting exports, he suggested that the government concentrate on import substitution since it may help lower the trade and current account deficits, which have reached $48 billion and $17 billion, respectively.
Kashif Anwar said that industries, including machinery, cars, electric cars, mobile phones, food, cotton, fertilisers, chemicals, etc., had significant potential for import substitution. According to him, all industries should be eligible for subsidised energy and gas prices in order to increase their export competitiveness. The LCCI president stated that it is urgently necessary to concentrate on alternative forms of energy to lessen reliance on imported fossil fuels and expensive energy.He suggested that Pakistan's 15% policy rate should be lowered to a single digit.
He said that there has to be a reduction in the industrial estates' excessively high land costs too. Kashif said that the recent floods had damaged the economy to the tune of more than $30 billion, according to estimates from the government. Fisheries, cattle, food, and agriculture all suffered significant losses, he added. He said that in addition to suffering a significant loss due to floods, Pakistan annually loses water worth billions of dollars to the sea. "Like other countries, we have to build dams on a war footing to increase water storage capacity and avoid huge losses," he added.
The agricultural industry must be modernised, according to Kashif Anwar, in order to considerably reduce the importation of food and cotton. He stated an urgent need to enhance wheat and cotton output. He asserted that despite several difficulties, exporters should be given special recognition for their significant contribution to generating foreign exchange and job prospects. Punjab Governor, Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman, speaking on the occasion said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce is truly assisting commerce, industry, and the economy.
He said the business community is a crucial pillar of the economy, and the government is providing it with the best facilities possible.He said that the government's initiatives and policies were responsible for Pakistan's economic growth. According to him, Pakistan is attracting attention from global investors due to strong economic statistics. The governor said that the administration is working to boost the economy by encouraging trade and industry. He asked the recipients of the trophies to offer the federal government their suggestions for boosting exports.
Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk