Let expats run the sick units, FPCCI suggests government

Says incentives, soft terms and lower mark-up should be offered to investors.

APP July 28, 2014

LAHORE: The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCC) has urged the federal government to hand over all sick units to foreign investors, preferably Pakistan’s expatriates, in order to accelerate the pace of economic activity and reduce huge financial losses to the national exchequer.

FPCCI acting president Shaukat Ali said a majority of overseas Pakistanis were willing to make the investment. “The government is suffering financial losses to the tune of billions of rupees annually because of sick units,” said Ali. “Majority of the overseas Pakistanis are willing to make investment in Pakistan, but they need guidance, a package of incentives and facilities under one window policy.”

He suggested that the federal and provincial governments should establish exclusive industrial zones for foreign investors in all parts of the country to attract foreign multinational companies. “Government should focus on the transfer of modern technology in agriculture and IT sectors from developed and advanced countries. Foreign investors should be encouraged to exploit untapped mineral resources to gear up trade and promote economic activities in the country.”

Meanwhile, SAARC CCI Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik said the government must offer short- and long-term loans on lower mark-up rates to expatriates on soft terms and conditions in order to run the sick units.

He said that the FPCCI advisory cell would fully facilitate the investors through a transparent process. “No nation can progress and prosper without industrial production for sustained economic growth,” said Malik. “Pakistan’s private sector has potential to compete in the global markets provided a healthy business environment is ensured.”

He appreciated the government for launching a number of mega projects across the country for power production to meet the increasing energy demand of the industry. He hoped that the country would make great strides and head to an era of prosperity, development and progress.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th,  2014.

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