Progress analysis: FCCI seeks facilitation for SMEs

Calls for addressing energy and water shortages

Imran Rana November 06, 2015
Calls for addressing energy and water shortages. PHOTO: FCCI.COM.PK

FAISALABAD: Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Chaudhary Muhammad Nawaz has said that government officials should be fully aware of the economic situation and should be taking more productive economic decisions.

He was speaking to participants of the 18th senior management course of the National Management College Lahore, who visited the FCCI on Friday.

He said the economy was on the road to progress as almost all macroeconomic indicators were positive. “Foreign reserves stand at $19.92 billion and balance of payments position looks comfortable.”

According to Nawaz, the small and medium entrepreneurs are the backbone of industrial development. “Faisalabad’s industrial hub developed with the help of SMEs and therefore they should be facilitated in the larger national interest as value added textiles are not picking up because the SMEs are facing an energy crisis.”

He said the water crisis could prove more damaging than the energy crisis in coming years, since per capita water availability is 1,000 cubic metres per annum and was estimated to go down to 850 cubic metres by 2025. The FCCI chief said construction of the multi-purpose large dams on rivers and small dams on canal heads were vital to produce cheaper hydel electricity besides promoting alternative energy resources particularly solar, coal and solid waste.

He said the energy mix should be designed in such a way that the cost of electricity remained low, affordable and could compete with regional countries. The government should also facilitate the private sector with easy taxation instead of a complex system that had been introduced in the federal budget 2014-15 and 2015-16, he said, adding the entire tax machinery needed rationalisation for a credible tax system.

“Textile exports that currently are around $13 billion, can easily be increased up to $26 billion if uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas is made available to the industries,” he suggested.

He said developing economies should enhance trade amongst themselves. “Today 60% of trade in the world is among regional blocs, we should focus on Afro-Asian countries.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2015.

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