LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged political parties to show maturity and safeguard the interests of the country.
In a statement issued on Friday, LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said due to political instability trade and economic activities were sinking and appealed to protesters to stay away from such politics because the country was facing huge economic losses only because of irrational attitude of political players.
He estimated that a week of stalled economic activity cost the country $500 million to $2 billion per month and an economy like Pakistan could not afford to lose even $1 million in exports.
Javaid said the political chaos was not only tarnishing image of the country in the international community, but was also hindering economic growth.
He asked the leadership of all political parties to join hands for strengthening the economy instead of hatching conspiracies for their vested interests.
While giving the recipe for economic independence, the LCCI president emphasised that a number of issues should be addressed on a priority basis, the biggest one being how to maintain the momentum of growth while being unable to reach targeted growth in agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
The second major issue is the widening gap between exports and imports that could be narrowed by enhancing exports.
“We have to focus on agriculture, manufacturing, education, water, human resources, minerals, public health, tax collection and end of corruption to get rid of economic worries,” he said.
Highlighting that agriculture was the largest sector of Pakistan as around 43% of labour force depended on it, Javaid suggested that the sector needed revolutionary reforms on a war footing.
“Growth of agriculture sector will not only ensure supply of food to consumers and raw material to the export-oriented textile industry, but will also generate huge revenues and employment opportunities,” he said.
“Pakistan needs to increase the per-acre yield on a steady pace, therefore, the government should bring about nine million hectares of fertile land under cultivation, which is deemed useless due to water shortage.” Turning to mineral resources, Javaid added that the sector was worth trillions of dollars which could make true the dream of economic stability.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2018.