In the Heart of Economic Discourse: ICCI Meeting Chronicles
Islamabad: In a recent high-profile gathering at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), influential figures from the business community gathered to delve into critical economic issues and chart a course for a robust recovery.
Faraz-ur-Rehman’s Clarion Call: A Focus on Exports
President of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry, Faraz-ur-Rehman, set the tone by highlighting the pressing need to enhance exports. Citing a 5% decline from July to September compared to the previous year, he urged the government to prioritize resolving export sector challenges. Central to his plea was the need for streamlined access to loans for exporters, with the current 22% interest rate hindering progress. This has contributed to a substantial 290% decrease in private sector loans from July to October.
Ahsan Bakhtawari’s Prescription: A Business-Friendly Tax System
Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President of ICCI, took the stage to emphasize the indispensable role of a business-friendly tax system in boosting tax revenue. Critiquing the current tax structure, Bakhtawari asserted that reforms are essential to encourage taxpayers. He underlined the promise of adding 1.5 million new taxpayers by June 2024 and suggested that simplifying the tax system and reducing high tax rates would be more effective than merely appointing additional tax officers.
Khalid Iqbal Malik’s Vision: Economic Recovery Policies
Khalid Iqbal Malik, the group leader of ICCI, stressed the pivotal role of the business community in driving the economy. Calling for comprehensive consultations with major chambers of commerce and associations, he advocated for the formulation of effective short-term and long-term economic recovery policies.
UBG’s Optimism: Elections and Transformative Leadership
Former President of ICCI and UBG Secretary General, Zafar Bakhtawari, expressed optimism about the upcoming Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry elections. He credited the UBG’s potential victory to the support of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry. Bakhtawari highlighted the transformative leadership expected from the UBG’s nominated candidate, Atif Ikram Sheikh, anticipating positive changes for the business community if elected as federation president.
Atif Ikram Sheikh’s Pledge: Collaboration for Community Welfare
Atif Ikram Sheikh, the UBG’s presidential candidate in FPCCI, pledged to collaborate with the government to address challenges faced by the business community. He expressed a commitment to implement welfare projects upon winning the federation election.
Diverse Perspectives: Business Leaders Unite
The gathering included prominent business personalities such as Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, Khalid Iqbal Malik, Zafar Bakhtawari, Atif Ikram Sheikh, and Rizwana Asif, President of Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Conclusion: A Unified Call to Action
In conclusion, the ICCI meeting underscored the need for a collaborative and strategic approach to address economic challenges. From boosting exports to reforming the tax system and formulating recovery policies, the business community stands united in its call for concerted efforts.
- How can the government streamline access to loans for exporters?
- The government can consider revising interest rates and simplifying loan application processes.
- What reforms are suggested for the tax system?
- Simplifying the tax structure and reducing high tax rates are key recommendations for reform.
- Why is collaboration with major chambers and associations essential for economic recovery policies?
- Comprehensive consultations ensure diverse perspectives, fostering effective and inclusive policies.
- What role does transformative leadership play in the business community?
- Transformative leaders drive positive change and innovation, benefitting the entire business ecosystem.
- How can businesses contribute to economic recovery?
- Businesses can actively participate in consultations, support candidates aligned with their interests, and engage in community welfare projects.