Keeping in view the bad situation of the economic sector, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has decided to organise 3rd All Pakistan Chambers Presidents Conference on March 14, 15 at Bhurban to formulate agenda to stable countrys economy, informed RCCI President Syed Ali Raza Saeed at a press conference held here on Monday.
Around 40 chambers presidents from all over the country will participate in the conference, he added.
On the occasion, RCCI Senior Vice President Mian Muhammad Ateeq, Vice President Dr Shumail Daud, former presidents and members executive council were also present.
While addressing, Ali Raza said that owing to feeble law and order foreign investment has reduced to zero per cent, due to the same situation local investors were shifting their businesses and assets to the neighbouring countries and till the date almost 20 industrial units have been shifted to Bangladesh.
He said that the increase in discount ratio was the second major cause of low investment. Ratio of discount rate in Pakistan was 14 per cent which was very high from the neighbouring states, as in Bangladesh it was 5 per cent, Sri Lanka 7.5 per cent, Japan 3 per cent, US 0.25 per cent, UK 0.50 per cent, Malaysia 0.3 per cent and in Thailand 1 per cent. Cost of doing business in Pakistan was very high, he added.
RCCI President said that prevailing energy crisis in the country had badly affected the industry and surge in the prices of petroleum products almost destroyed the industry.
A total of 1,332 industrial units have been shut downed because of energy crunch and if the situation will remain so there is chance to around 1,600 industrial units can be closed and 1.6 million people might lose their jobs, Ali Raza lamented.
He further said that according to the statistics, prices of electricity had swelled up to 120 per cent while gas 54 per cent and prices of petroleum products puffed up 27 per cent in the last three years. Similarly inflation went up to 15.48 per cent whereas CPI ratio stood at 13.9 per cent in January 2011, he added.
Syed Ali Raza was of view that the government must invite the stakeholders during the policymaking process besides taking business community into confidence before drafting any policy related to the business.
Responding to a query, the RCCI President said that in the prevailing scenario it was not possible for the business community and the country as well to pay RGST.
He suggested the government to broaden the tax net instead of imposing new taxes on poor.
Ali Raza said that in the third all Pakistan Chambers Presidents Conference all the issues including industrial policy would be discussed and a joint declaration would also be issued.