The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday urged the government to immediately form a business-police liaison committee “as law and order is getting out of hand with every passing day”.
In a statement issued here, LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that businessmen needed protection from robbers and muggers. He said that the LCCI had been receiving an increasing number of requests from businessmen seeking help to obtain weapons licences to protect themselves and their businesses.
He said that the LCCI had long been calling for the formation of a committee where it could convey its concerns to the police and they could tackle problems together. He said that the government was failing in its duty to protect citizens. Sheikh said poor security hurt not just local investors, but discouraged foreign investment too. “It has also caused a brain drain and an investment drain as a large number of industrial units have shifted their operations to other countries,” he said.
The LCCI president said that a business-friendly atmosphere was a prerequisite to investment and industrialisation. “The government must listen to the business community’s point of view for bringing peace back,” he said.
Sheikh said that several Far Eastern countries that had much smaller economies than Pakistan’s in the 1960s now had greater exports and prosperity than Pakistan. He said that the electricity shortage and inflation had also hurt the economy.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2012.