Lahore: Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front (PIAF) Thursday called for well tailored, well thought out and well consulted measures in federal budget 2012 – 13 to arrest industrial drain, unemployment, inflation and to increase revenues.
In a statement, the PIAF Chairman Engr. Sohail Lashari hoped that the upcoming budget would have solution to all the economic issues being faced by the country. He said that the shortage of energy has virtually pushed the country to the wall and the government would have to allocate huge funds to overcome the power shortages and to put economy back on rails.
The PIAF Chairman said that growth rate in Pakistan is far behind from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India while the rate of inflation and cost of doing business is on higher side when are compared with these countries.
The PIAF Chairman said that how Pakistan’s industry would survive if the upcoming budget fails to evolve a methodology to support trade and industry.
Sohail Lashari also invited the attention of the finance minister towards repeated increases in the electricity prices saying that they are proving last nail in the coffin.
The PIAF Chairman said that the country’s economic revival is only possible if the government takes private sector on board in budget-making exercise.
He said that energy is the only sector that has taken the entire trade and economy hostage therefore the budget should be focused on energy-related projects.
The PIAF chairman also urged the government to give special package to all the industrial estates in the country so that He could be able to establish their own power houses. He said that the government would have to allocate funds for revival of public sector enterprises (PSEs) that are presently eating up much of the budgeted money.
The increase the exports, the PIAF leaders proposed cut in duties on raw materials for export-oriented industry while the appointment of commercial attaches in foreign countries should be linked to promotion of Pakistani merchandise in global market.
He said that high mark-up needs to be brought down to single digit as it would increase industrial productivity on the one hand while help increase local investment in the country. The banking spread that has crossed the figure of seven per cent should also be narrowed down in the larger interests of trade and industry.
As the country at the moment is facing a number of external and internal pressures, the PIAF leaders suggested to the government to curtail all non-productive expenditures to the minimum level so that the funds could be utilized for the betterment of people.
He said that the government should also announce austerity drive in the budget and all government functionaries entitled to use official vehicles should be directed to use small vehicles and their fuel consumption limit should also be fixed. As this would help save precious foreign exchange.
Over law and order situation, the PIAF leaders said that there is a dire need to allocate special funds to strengthen intelligence network in the country as the previous happenings have proved that police alone cannot handle any untoward incident.
The PIAF Chairman also urged the government to evolve both short-term and long term policies to overcome the shortage of electricity. In this regard, he local businessmen could be asked to make investment in power sector jointly or individually.
As a large number of industrial units have stopped their operations while many are on the way to closure. He said that uninterrupted supply of electricity to the industry would not only increase industrial production but it would also arrest the fast galloping unemployment graph.
He said that the government should also announce work on Kalabagh Dam which had been politicized for nothing as it would not only expedite economic activity but would also ensure cheapest electricity on completion.
The PIAF Chairman said that there is a dire need to promote research culture in the country as despite having all the resources the country is lagging far behind in every sector only because on non-availability of required information. “Our neighbouring countries are progressing leaps and bounds but we are fast losing our due place in the global market.”
He said that the existing rate of General Sales Tax is very high and it seems prohibitive for economic growth therefore it is strongly recommended to reduce it.
The PIAF Chairman also urged the government to announce a cut in petroleum prices and freeze them for at least one year.
For more information, Contact:
Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front
110/s Kot Lakhpat Industrial Estate
Phone: (92) 42 5123522
Fax: (92) 42 5123522