PESHAWAR - The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Region has demanded for granting formal industrial status to furniture sector and taking of sincere steps to resolve its problems.
The demand was made during a meeting held here on Monday at FPCCI Regional Office Peshawar with Coordinator Sartaj Ahmed Khan in the chair. Besides, office bearers of the furniture association, the representatives of the Small Industries Development Board (SIDB), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment & Trade (KP-BoIT), Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Bank of Khyber, Bank Al Habib and other institutions also attended the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to listen to the problems of the people associated with the furniture business and make it possible for them to have access to concerned authorities and commercial banks for starting a new business under the Prime Minister Scheme and or to expand the ongoing business through loan schemes including special schemes of solar system and creation of awareness about loan schemes and procedures for installation was also to be provided.
In the meeting, the furniture sector business community of Peshawar informed about their problems and said that more than 800 units are operating only in Tehkal area of Peshawar equipped with machinery worth millions of rupees, but problems including massive loadshedding of electricity and multiple taxes pushed the business down to the brink of collapse due to which many workers and entrepreneurs have to take other jobs to feed themselves and their families. Addressing the participants of the meeting, Coordinator FPCCI KP Region, Sartaj Ahmad Khan said that Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali and Caretaker Minister are making all-out efforts for promotion of business activities and strengthen the national economy.
He demanded for declaring furniture as a formal industry, saying the province has no shortage of skilled workforce to produce quality furniture products. During the meeting, the representatives of commercial banks gave detailed briefings to the participants regarding business loan schemes and said that their communication with them will continue till the realization of practical benefits. The FPCCI Coordinator told the participants that all those businessmen concerned over higher power tariffs can get financial support through schemes from banks for installing solar systems, but also stressed the need for awareness about these schemes. The officials and entrepreneurs of the furniture association participating in the meeting expressed their gratitude to FPCCI officials and expressed the hope that the joint struggle will sustain the furniture business in the near future and that significant progress will be made in solving the problems.