LAHORE : Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has vowed to go extra mile for Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the success of its plans to initiate power generation unit on self-finance basis. The governor was talking to LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari during an exclusive meeting here at the Governor’s House on Monday. The meeting also discussed the issues pertaining to taxation and procedures, and development of infrastructure at Wagah-Attari Border. The governor said the government would be more than willing to extend every possible support to LCCI for successful completion of its plans to put up a 50MW power generation plant on self-finance basis.
It is great idea that would definitely give considerable encouragement to other Chambers in Punjab as well to initiate mega projects of national importance, he added. “If all sectors of the economy start working on these lines then the days are not very far when the country will be producing surplus electricity,” he observed.
Chaudhry Muhmmad Sarwar also expressed his optimism about GSP Plus (Generalized System of Preferences) status to Pakistan by the European Parliament. He said during his last visit to United Kingdom, he also visited Brussels and had quite impressive and result-oriented meetings with the concerned authorities.
The governor also agreed with the LCCI proposal regarding fast-paced infrastructure development at Wagah-Attari Border that requires expansion to cope with fast increasing volume of trade between Pakistan and India. He, however, sought suggestions in black and white from the LCCI President so that the concerned authorities could be given directions to start work.
Earlier, Sohail Lashari said the LCCI had already started research work for the early establishment of power generation unit to cater to the industry needs and as soon as the spadework in completed the entire project would be shared with the government.
About various challenges to the economic activities, he said the business community was in deep troubles because of complex taxation procedures and introduction of new tax tariffs. He said that unless and until the procedures were simplified and tax rates were rationalized, the economy would remain underpressure.
He said the government would have to come up with out-of-box solutions to expand the tax net and for bringing the untaxed sectors into the mainstream economy. The government could introduce fixed tax culture in the country to increase the Tax-to-GDP ratio, he added.
Lashari also brought into the notice of Governor, a number of issues being faced by the business community and appealed to him to use his office for establishment of Fire Brigade Stations near different City Shopping Malls and big markets.
He said the shortage of parking plazas was also hampering economic activities, particularly in Lahore and the LCCI wanted the government to construct parking plazas on Public-Private Partnership basis.
He said that all the trade associations had been asked to submit their plans to Lahore Chamber for onward submission to the government. “The government and Private sector should be on the same page as far as economic issues are concerned because these challenges can only be surmounted through collective efforts. Neither the private sector nor the public sector alone could put economy back on rails,” he concluded.