Govt leaves legacy of incompetence, corruption

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) said on day Sunday the democratic government has left a legacy of massive corruption and incompetence pushing country and masses into total gloom.

Those who take politics as a lucrative business secured their future through plunder while leaving 180 million people insecure, said Farida Rashid, President IWCCI.

Speaking to business community, she said that last five years would be remembered as a black chapter in the history of Pakistan.

The government made new records of incompetence, corruption, nepotism, lawlessness, bulldozing laws and clash of the institutions, she added.

Farida Rashid said that most of the economic, fiscal, foreign and internal policies of the government met with failure while Pakistan faced international disgrace on various occasions.

Government continued to plunder national resources during five years but made a history of loot during its last few days, she observed.

She said that almost all the policies were made to please nobility which took toll on Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), rupee lost value, record loans were borrowed while collections and forex reserved dwindled.

Government failed to provide enabling environment, improve law and order as well as the circular debt contributing to flight of capital, shifting of industrial units and brain drain.

Incoherent policies left millions jobless while 10 million youth stepped in the job market with no opportunities available. Even the largest urban employment providing sector of textile failed to create a single job, she informed.

Farida said that oil and gas exploration was systematically discouraged to justify import of costly fuel for which the CNG sector was also destroyed.

Government took around Rs 2.7 trillion loans from international lenders out of which 2.3 trillion were used to finance politically run Public Sector Enterprises but none could come out of losses to become profitable entity.

Unprecedented corruption estimated at Rs 1800 billion, shook the foundations of the country and put its very survival.

Masses must learn a lesson as Pakistan cannot afford another round of such democracy, observed Farida Rashid.


APCNGA demands 7-day gas supply across Pakistan

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Sunday sought 7-day gas supply to the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations across the stretch of the country as normal weather has subsided demand for the natural gas.

In a statement issued here today, Chairman of the Supreme Council APCNGA Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said that government must revisit loadshedding schedule for CNG sector to resume round-the-clock gas supply until next winter.

Government must end discrimination and provide relief to masses before the dissolution of the assemblies as we have braved unprecedented gas load shedding which took toll on daily life, economy and the foreign exchange reserves.

Ghiyas Paracha said that reduced demand of gas has improved the supply that can be confirmed from the record of gas distribution companies leaving government with no excuse to continue policy of unjust distribution of resources.

Regretting the continued silence of ministry of petroleum over proposals by APCNGA to get over gas crisis, he said that Government must take steps to rescue the CNG sector and ensure smooth sailing, especially in Punjab reeling under unfavourable policy of the centre based on political confrontation.

The leader of the CNG sector said that Punjab is being penalised by the policymakers and the largest province by population remained exposed to cruel loadshedding as compare to any other province. Reasons are not technical but political, he said.

Paracha said that foreign exchange reserved have touched alarming level while country is unable to sustain imports for two and a half months. In such a scenario, CNG can play a decisive role in cutting the import bill providing some much-needed fiscal space.

Rulers must realise that Pakistan is set to witness widespread political chaos if country fails to create one million jobs per annum without which survival of Pakistan and economic stability would remain far cry, he said.

The energy crisis and the way it is being handled since some years is adding to the vast army of unemployed posing great security threat to country, Paracha noted.

An independent commission should be formed to probe causes and consequences as well as macroeconomic implications of the energy crisis and choking CNG sector which may work as a wakeup call for the authorities who have worked on cross-purposes since years without any objection from the ruling elite.

He said that owners of the CNG filling stations would not accept intentionally engineered gas shortages anymore.

Inefficient CPPs inflicts Rs 70 billion loss annually on country

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Saturday questioned the policy of providing cheap gas to captive power plants (CPPs) to gain political favours which is causing a loss of Rs 70 billion to the public exchequer per annum.

The technology, efficiency, cost, consumption, production, and other parameters related to the CPPs are questionable, as industry has been using scrap plants in place of modern and better equipment, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA.

The average efficiency of 113 CPPs, mostly installed in textile units, stands at 28 per cent meaning that they are wasting 72 per cent of the gas in the process of generating electricity, he said while speaking to APCNGAs central executive committee.

Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said that data of SSGC and SNGPL shows that CPPs are getting 454 mmcfd gas per day out of which 327 mmcfd is lost to inefficiency causing loss of around 19 crore per day.

Planning Commission and Ministry of Water and Power have termed primitive CPPs a major drain of indigenous hydrocarbon resources but to no avail, he said, adding that statements of crackdown against wasteful CPPs by ministry of petroleum is mere eyewash.

He said that government is pleasing owners of CPPs on the cost of domestic consumers, CNG, fertiliser and general industry. Many industries closed since long are being provided gas while the power generated through that gas is being sold to running industrial units without approval from Nepra which must be probed, he demanded.

He said that the silence of concerned departments on the issue is not only amazing but also criminal at a time when whole nation is reeling under power crisis.

The country would not have faced energy shortages of such magnitude if decision were taken on merit and the gas allocated to CPPs was provided to efficient power houses, he said.

Power generation companies are facing heavy losses as gas consumption as well as some 2000 mw load has been shifted to the unregulated gas gulping CPP sector which do not require a licence and have no performance and efficiency checks.

The policy has hiked operation and maintenance cost of the Discos, average tariff is going up while average sale declines causing losses to the government while CPPs thrive on economical gas and support of petroleum ministry.

Criticising the move to lower the efficiency benchmark for CPPs, Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha demanded a probe into the issue to fix responsibility on those who played havoc with the country for their personal welfare.

He demanded an immediate comprehensive and independent audit of captive power plants, banning Discos buying power from captives using cheap gas as fuel, and concrete steps to improve the efficiency and avoid wastage of precious natural resources in the national interest.

The government needs to increase gas price for CPPs by a minimum of 150 per cent to resolve all issues, ensure efficiency and reduce load shedding. There is a need for a well-integrated power policy which addresses the various issues to ensure an overall development of the sector and economy.

Pakistan’s Ranking on the travel and tourism competitiveness index 2013

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Pakistan has shown slight improvement on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013. The biennial report, published under the theme, Reducing Barriers to Economic Growth and Job Creation, sees considerable movement in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Indexs 14 pillars in terms of Pakistans performance according to the fifth Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, released today by the World Economic Forum.

Amongst the areas, where Pakistan showed poor performance are policy rules and regulations dropping ranking from 106 in 2011 to 120 this year and prioritizing of travel & tourism, which secured 131 in 2013 as compared to 121 in 2011.

Pakistan showed improvements in the areas of human resources, where the indices on education and training have improved to the rank of 125 this year to 134 in 2011, similarly availability of qualified labor showed an improvement of 79 in 2013 as compared to 100 in 2011, an indication of a return of skilled labour force from middle east and other countries.

Other area where policy, rules & regulations impacted Pakistan was the business impact of rules on FDI ranking, which deteriorated from 73 in 2011 to 94 in 2013

The war on terror has impacted the countries travel and tourism competitiveness, in terms of the safety and security pillar; Pakistan was ranked at business costs of crime and violence (128), road traffic accidents/100,000 population (101) and business costs of terrorism (139).

Pakistan showed lack of attention and prioritization of the travel and tourism in 2011/12, ranking 131 out of 140. The poor performance of railways and the quality of railroad infrastructure also deteriorated in the last two years where Pakistan scored 65 this year as compared to 55 in 2011.

Governments policy on the information technology and telecommunications also showed lack of focus as the Report signifies that the ICT use for business-to-business has dropped from 103 to 115 from 211 to 2013 respectively. The performance of the regulatory body for ICT also showed an alarming figure, where Pakistans lost 20 ranks in 2013 as of 119 as compared to 99 two years ago.

In an effort to improve the revenue stream, governments in Pakistan have also the mid-to-long term interest of the travel and tourism industry, the price competitiveness in terms of the extent and effect of taxation the country lost 23 ranks in the last two years and ranking on 68 now.

The quality of education system showed an improvement by ranking 74 this year as compared to 87 in 2011 among 140 countries globally. The country also showed flexibility in hiring and firing practices, thus showing a competitiveness advantage by securing the ranking of 21.

On the cultural resources pillar, although Pakistan still maintains its competitiveness advantage, Pakistan lost its ranking of 29 to 39 in 2011 and 2013 respectively on the no. of world heritage sites. Similarly Pakistans position on number of international fairs and exhibitions at 88 in 2011 has been dropped to 117.

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, the country partner institute of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Performance, World Economic Forum said, that the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index covers 140 countries and uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, international travel and tourism institutions and experts. It also incorporates the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum and its network of partner institutes. Mishal being the country partner institute of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Performance of the World Economic Forum works closely with the Forum for data on Pakistan. The survey provides data on many qualitative institutional and business environment issues.

As well as providing insight into how countries are fostering the development of their travel & tourism industry, the report also offers a snapshot on the health of the industry and its role in driving global economic growth. With travel and tourism accounting for one in 11 jobs globally, the report highlights that the industry has proven resilient during the global economic downturn and can be a key factor in paving the way for developing and emerging markets to diversify into higher value economic activities.

Switzerland, Germany and Austria lead the world in terms of their travel and tourism industry competitiveness with Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Canada, Sweden and Singapore completing the top 10.

Among developed economies, New Zealand and Japan improved strongly; the former climbing to12th from 19th and the latter moving up eight positions to 14th. Emerging market economies reported mixed levels of progress, with India being the only BRIC nation to move up in the rankings. In this category, rising stars include Panama, climbing from 56th to 37th, and the Philippines, which climbed from 94th to 82nd on the back of policy improvements supporting the industry.

Industry resilience has been driven by the growth of the middle class in emerging markets, although advanced economies too are displaying positive momentum. Better policies, harnessing technology and facilitating the movement of people over borders will allow the industry to capitalize on this tailwind and support rising prosperity into the future, said Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist and Head of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network at the World Economic Forum.

The travel and tourism industry has weathered the global downturn and is now playing an important role in helping tackle serious global challenges, including youth unemployment, economic development and environmental sustainability. The challenge for the industry and its stakeholders today is to maintain this powerful contribution to economic growth and employment, while continuing to proactively pursue the shared goals of facilitating global travel and tourism and protecting host cultures, identities and environments, said Thea Chiesa, Director, Head of Aviation, Travel & Tourism Industries, World Economic Forum.

The reports cross-country analysis of the drivers of competitiveness in travel and tourism provides comparative information that is useful in business decision-making and supporting policies of governments wishing to improve their travel and tourism environments.

In addition, the report includes contributions from industry experts. Several chapters explore issues such as how visa facilitation can play a role in stimulating economic growth; the importance for policy-makers to leverage local competitive advantages to thrive in a volatile environment; the impact of the tourism sector on employment creation; and how the connectivity that aviation sector creates sustains economic development.

The report also contains detailed country profiles for the 140 economies featured in the study, including a comprehensive summary of their overall positions in the Index and a guide to the most prominent travel and tourism competitive advantages and disadvantages of each. Also included is an extensive section of data tables covering each indicator used in the Indexs computation.

The World Economic Forum produced the report in close collaboration with its Strategic Design Partner, Booz & Company, and its Data Partners, which include Deloitte, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mishal Pakistan and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The Forum also received important feedback from Industry Partners in the effort, namely Airbus/EADS, BAE Systems, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Bombardier, Delta, Deutsche Lufthansa/Swiss, Embraer, Etihad Airways, Jet Airways, Hilton, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, Safran, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and VISA.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests.

PMLN Stands Bright Chance to Win the Elections

By Saeed Qureshi

The credible indications are that Pakistan Muslim League under its leader Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif would capture maximum seats in the forthcoming general elections and thus emerge as the majority party. Since it is entering into electoral alliances with ANP, Jamaat-e-Islami, Pir Pagaras functional Muslim League and National Peoples Party, it may form the next coalition government at the center.

It appears that since presently, the PPP does not enjoy the traditional popularity with the masses; it may not be able to win adequate numbers of seats in three provinces of Balochistan, NWFP and Punjab. In Sindh, it could have a split mandate to be equally claimed by MQM in Karachi and Hyderabad. The level of disenchantment is quite high against the incumbent government in the center and also in the Sindh government. But since MQM vote bank is always safe due to ethnic unity and because of severe backlash against those not voting for the MQM, it may win all or most of the seats in their controlled constituencies.

It would be desirable for the PPP to take the backseat and re-formulate its strategy for the next elections in 2018. The PPP leadership should go for introspection as to how it could not robustly deliver this time and therefore reorient its programs and policies to gear up for the next election season. If PPP returns to its pristine image and reboots the manifesto unfurled by the chairman of the party ZAB in 70s, it has the potential of staging a comeback.

Despite PMLN being betrayed after initial political alliances with the PPP, it has been vehemently opposing hijacking of power by the army. It opted out of the coalition with PPP and preferred to play the role of the so-called friendly opposition that facilitated democracy to survive for five years. Despite a chaos ridden five years period of PPP in power, the PMLN refrained from making efforts to oust the PPP from power or proverbially fish in troubled waters.

Now elections must be fair and free and without malpractices. There is a danger of turmoil if the parties that lose allege rigging or fraudulent practices against the party that carries the day. The country cannot afford further agitations and protests and lockouts and mess and crisis. The parties that lose should accept their defeat in good grace and in the supreme interests of the nascent democratic caravan to move forward.

If Pakistan can sustain another five years democratic spell, it would by all reckoning, have a safe and glorious future. Democratic bond is the strongest bond in the contemporary world to keep the nation together and govern the country with consensus. It is an effective recipe to foster internal cohesion and unity. It commands universal respect.

Notwithstanding, the bitter political rhetoric and scathing polemics, the glaring fact is that the PMLN government in Punjab has achieved several milestones for the progress and advancement of the province. Chief minister Shahbaz Sharif is sincerely trying to make the social environment better by providing indispensable facilities like infrastructure, roads and comfortable transportation. He has zealously labored to promote education and health facilities in his province. The lawlessness and violence that is relentlessly endemic in other provinces, is much less in Punjab.

The Sharif brothers have learnt bitter lessons during their exiles in foreign lands for almost 8 years. It is hoped that the stiffness of disposition and punitive tendency in Nawaz Sharif must have mellowed down after spending many grueling years out of Pakistan. Now he should, for the sake of the democratic order to continue, learn to accommodate divergent opinion and not jump to reprisals, such as attack on the supreme court of Pakistan in 1997. He should desist from removing one army chief after another unless there would be inevitable grounds for doing so.

Nawaz Sharif is a true son of the soil whose merits are quite a few and studded with landmark laurels. He was one prime minister who despite inexorable multi-dimensional pressures both internal and external, went ahead with atomic tests following the Indian explosions. He was the one in whose tenure Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee travelled to Pakistan by bus and recorded indelible pro-Pakistan views at Minar-e- Pakistani. The signing of Lahore Declaration for mutual peaceful relations was a landmark achievement for both the countries.

Pakistan and India were well on the way to mending their fences and enter into a new phase of good neighborly relationship. There could have been the possibility of cutting the Guardian Knot of Kashmir, had he not committed the blunder of sacking the then COAS Pervez Musharraf in a clumsy manner resulting in the advent of military rule once again.

It would be safe and objective to hazard a guess that a quid-pro-quo would be possible between him and the religious extremist groups including Taliban. That might come as a soothing and most sought-after turn of events in the troubled and violence marred landscape of Pakistan.

During the times of Nawaz Sharif and late Benazir Bhutto, Karachi was bedeviled with violence and the outlaws and criminals of all sorts were at the rampage.

There were, thugs, rogues, killers, desperadoes, and brutal ethnic militants playing with the citys peace and the situation was horrendously precarious. But when the state machinery was mobilized with full force, the peace and normal life returned. Although many an innocence citizen may have perished in the cleanup operations yet a greater good was much better than a little infringement of the established rules.

One would hopefully believe that if PMLN forms the government, it would herald a new era in the troubled and chaotic history of Pakistan. The new Nawaz Sharif would not be a nonchalant and emotional young man of 90s but a much reformed, diligent and sober person who would do the right things for Pakistan.

He may not indulge in money making scams and shun bending laws and amending constitution for self perpetuation and for serving interests of party cadres. If he comes clean, he would make history both for himself as well as for Pakistan.

The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat.

Pak exports to Malaysia grow by 6.15pc

Kuala Lumpur, MTT News Desk: Pakistans exports to Malaysia have risen by 6.15 per cent according to trade figures available for the period January-October 2012, says a press release issued by the Pakistan High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.

Quoting statistics from January till October 2012, the statement says Pakistan has exported goods worth US$232.81 million to Malaysia, registering a growth of 6.15 per cent or US$13.48 million over the US$219.33 million exports of corresponding period last year.

During both the years, rice stood as the highest contributor and a major export to Malaysia, contributing to 25 per cent (US$54.08 million) of the total exports in 2011, and 29 per cent (US$66.51 million) of the total exports in 2012.

From January to October 2012, the export of bed-linen increased by 13.96 per cent (US$0.62 million), electrical appliances by 76.15 per cent (US$1.42 million), rice by 22.97 per cent (US$12.42 million), potatoes by 164.14 per cent (US$3.15 million), maize by 58.88 per cent (US$14.36 million) and fish by 21.94 per cent (US$2.19 million).

However, the exports of onion decreased by 94.93 per cent (US$15.68 million), cotton yarn by 28.73 per cent (US$5.03 million), parts and accessories by 27.95 per cent (US$0.35 million) and woven fabrics by 6.47 per cent (US$0.27 million) in the same period.

Pakistan exports a number of goods to Malaysia, including fish, potatoes, onion, rice, maize, cotton yarn, woven fabrics and synthetic staple fibre, bed-linen, electrical apparatus for line telephony and parts and accessories.

Pakistan also imports palm oil, electrical and electronic equipment, machinery, chemicals, rubber, wood, synthetic filament yarn, insecticides, automatic data processing machines and parts and accessories from Malaysia. However, the overall imports from Malaysia to Pakistan have decreased from US$2.12 billion US$1.6 billion by 24.58 per cent. Palm oil was the major import from Malaysia in both years, standing at US$1.65 billion in 2011 and US$1.12 billion in 2012.

Pakistan Turkey to distribute Rs 1 million among students

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Over seven hundred Pakistani students from across Pakistan will get prizes for their outstanding performance demonstrated during National Inter Schools Math Olympiad (ISMO) held recently.

The ISO titled, Pakistan Seeks Al-Khwarizmi, was held on Jan 27th, 2013 at all the branches of PakTurk Schools across the country simultaneously in which some 16500 students from 500 different schools participated.

A total of 722 students from class 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th from different government and private schools will get rewarded for their incredible potential in the prize distribution ceremony scheduled at new campus of PakTurk at Sector H-8 tomorrow (Wednesday), said an announcement issued here today.

Top government functionaries, officials, educationists and parents of the students will participate in the award distribution ceremony.

Abdul Moeez Ijaz, a class eighth student of Jinnah Preparatory School Islamabad who was recently declared Al- Khwarizmi of Pakistan for one year for his brilliance in mathematics will be the centre of attention.

A cash prize of Rs one million will be distributed among the students who made it to the top.

Pak-Turk holds ISMO prize distribution ceremony

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges on Tuesday held prize distribution ceremony for first countrywide Inter Schools Math Olympiad (ISMO) held recently.

The ISO titled, Pakistan Seeks Al- Khwarizmi, was held on Jan 27th, 2013 at all the branches of Pak-Turk Schools across the country simultaneously in which some 16500 students participated representing around 500 schools.

The students of class 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th participated in the competition to prove their incredible potential.

Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Cemil Cicek, Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, Turk Ambassador Babur Hizlan, Federal Secretaries, officials of Pak-Turk Schools, students, parents, and others were present at the at the award distribution ceremony held at Pak-Turk Chak Shahzad campus.

Many students of different schools bagged cash prizes from 50,000 to 30,000 while Abdul Moeez Ijaz, a class eighth student of Jinnah Preparatory School Islamabad was declared Al- Khwarizmi of Pakistan for his outstanding performance. He will retain the title for one year.

It may be mentioned that Abu Abdallah Muḥammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was a legendary Muslim mathematician.

Speaking at the occasion, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Cemil Cicek said that Turkey will continue to support Pakistan which is a great and trustworthy friend.

We are tied in the religious and cultural bonds which should be further strengthened, he said, adding that our government as well as masses value multidimensional relations with Pakistan which would by further cemented by the passage of time.

Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi said that Turkey is promoting education in Pakistan by establishing quality institutes and holding different competitions aimed at enhancing the level of our students.

Our students are being prepared to compete in the international events while many have won medial which is a great achievement, said Kundi.

Ambassador of Turkey Babur Hizlan said that Pakistani youth had tremendous potential and amazing talent to progress and advance in all walks of life.

Improving, educating and promoting the brightest Pakistani students is one of our mission, said Hizlan.

Mr. Unal Tosur, PakTurk International CAG Educational Foundation, MD Pak Turk Mr. Fesih Celik, Director Education Kamil Ture and others said that we will continue to provide opportunities to Pakistani students to intellectually stimulate them and infuse confidence, ability and decisiveness which were essential ingredient for progress in life.

Pakistan Mission in Kuala Lumpur marks Kashmir Solidarity Day

Kuala Lumpur, MTT News Desk: The High Commission for Pakistan in Malaysia organized a function in Kuala Lumpur today (Tuesday) to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day in recognition of the untold sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiris to realise their goal of self-determination.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistans Acting High Commissioner to Malaysia Mr. Mohammad Nadeem Khan paid rich tributes to the Kashmiris for challenging the Indian occupation and rendering countless sacrifices to throw off the yoke of subjugation.

He called on the international community to help resolve the Kashmir issue to secure durable peace in the region. He lamented that while the people of Kashmir had long suffered, the civilized world had only paid a lip service to the issue, leaving millions of defenceless Kashmiris to the mercy of a brutal regime intent on crushing the freedom struggle through bullet and bayonet.

Mr. Mohamamd Nadeem Khan also underscored Pakistans efforts to resolve the issue, saying our position is based on the support for a just cause and on principles recognized by the international community and enshrined in the UN Charter. Pakistan is committed to extending full moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris till the realization of their right to self-determination, he added.

Later, documentaries highlighting the plight of Kashmiris and their struggle for freedom were shown. A group of schoolchildren also presented skits and tableaus signifying the theme of Kashmir Solidarity Day and highlighting the rich Kashmiri culture and traditions.

Govt lauded for focusing welfare of small traders

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Small traders of capital city on Tuesday lauded the government for initiating moves aimed at welfare of the small traders, businesswomen and the cottage industry.

Steps taken by the government for setting up chambers for small traders and small industry in every district of country will help resolve many problems confronted by the business community, said Kamran Abbasi, President of the Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry.

Speaking to business community here at Super Market, he said that they have been striving for chamber of small traders since 2008 and now our dream is coming true as the formal approval of Trade Organisations Bill from the Upper House is expected within days.

He informed that an application has been moved to the office of Director General Trade Organisations to rename their chamber from Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Cottage Industry to Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry to ensure compliance with the bill.

Abbasi said that major beneficiaries of the new law would be millions of small traders, importers, and services providers for which the credit goes to Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Jahangir Badr, Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, Khurram Dastagir Khan and all the concerned officials.

He said that all trade bodies are currently functioning under the Trade Organisation Ordinance 1961 that has certain in-built inadequacies including lack of governance mechanism for services sector, female entrepreneurs, small businesses and cottage industry.

Speaking on the occasion, Jahangir Akhtar, Secretary General of the proposed Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry said that governments move will ensure effective dispute resolution mechanism and that every taxpaying trader would be eligible to become a member of the chamber while the membership fee would be mere Rs 200.

He said that chambers of small traders would take decisions on merit which will make things better for everyone.

The bill supports proper implementation of law, definition for territorial jurisdiction for trade bodies, elimination of fake associations, and facilitates the small businesses to prosper and promote good practices, said Akhtar.

The small traders demanded of the government to make the bill a law as soon as possible to win support of millions of small traders.

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