FAISALABAD: Economic managers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government should extensively consult chambers and business leaders in order to design comprehensive, viable and result-oriented economic policies to put Pakistan back on the road to progress and prosperity.
This was the nub of a meeting of business leaders held at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI).
Acting FCCI President Sheikh Farooq Yusuf said over the past many years, the chambers of commerce and industry, along with business leaders, were badly ignored while framing economic policies.
“The FCCI has since been demanding that all economic policies must be framed in consultation with the stakeholders concerned,” he said.
“It will not only dispel apprehensions and reservations of the business community, but will also help the government take appropriate steps to save the economy from any adverse impact.”
Previously, Yusuf recalled, the government had begun consultation with the chambers, but termed it just a cosmetic step.
In most of the cases, a proposed draft was agreed before policy formulation, but at the time of issuing the notification, some hidden clauses were added that diluted possible impact of the policy on national economy, he added.
Owing to such an approach, Yusuf pointed out, exports faced a major setback and therefore, the import and export gap posed a serious threat to the economic viability of Pakistan.
He acknowledged that PTI’s economic experts had already been working on economic issues as they fully understood the intricacies and complications of existing policies.
He suggested that they should take the business community into confidence and design new progressive economic policies, which could steer Pakistan out of the current turmoil.
The acting FCCI president proposed that the policies should be kept ready before the commencement of first session of the newly elected National Assembly, so that these could be approved and vetted by the house before promulgation.
He reiterated the old demand that Pakistan should focus on exports of finished and hi-tech products, instead of raw and semi-finished goods.
Talking about the textile industry, he said the dominating sector needed revolutionary reforms, so that it could maintain its supremacy in the field as Pakistan was a major cotton producer.
He stressed that textile was the main foreign exchange earning industry that needed complete overhaul of obsolete and redundant technology to make Pakistani products acceptable in international markets.
“This objective cannot be achieved without the active financial, administrative and regulatory support of the government.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2018.