Punjab to introduce Smart Regulations Act

Minister says clubbing of taxes, inspection-free system discussed with PM


Our Correspondent March 16, 2019
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Almas Hyder said a special department should be established to manage the cottage industry, adding the model of Thailand could help groom the cottage industry. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: The Punjab government is going to introduce the Smart Regulations Act, which will improve the ease of doing business in the province and around the country, announced provincial Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal.

Speaking at a meeting of all chambers of Punjab at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the minister said all regulations would be put in one place and rectified under the Punjab Smart Regulations Act. It will be presented to the provincial assembly in the next six to eight months and later to the federal cabinet.

LCCI lauds improvement in Pakistan’s ranking

He cited the example of South Korea, where 50% regulations out of 12,000 were eliminated and the remaining amended. Likewise, he said, Vietnam and Kenya had done a lot for the ease of doing business (EODB).

The prime minister wanted Pakistan’s EODB ranking below 100, he said, adding the intervention of government departments in business affairs was also being reduced.

Iqbal said issues of clubbing taxes in Punjab and an inspection-free system had been discussed with the prime minister. “Input will be taken first from the business community on the inspection-free mechanism and then a draft will be sent to the federal cabinet,” he said.

The new strategy is being introduced for the Special Economic Zones. Three new schemes covering business start-ups, loan mark-up and credit guarantee were also in the pipeline, he revealed.

About the cottage industry, he said 36 districts in Punjab had specialties and the cottage industry would be developed gradually in these districts.

The minister said the government had given a timeframe for converting brick kilns into zigzag technology and wanted to develop the technology around the country.

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Almas Hyder said a special department should be established to manage the cottage industry, adding the model of Thailand could help groom the cottage industry.

He said the government’s initiative to seek feedback from all chambers of Punjab on the Smart Regulations Act was a step in the right direction.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2019.

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