LCCI out­lines key pri­or­i­ties for bud­get 2013-14

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

La­hore Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try LCCI has out­lined key pri­or­i­ties for bud­get 2013-14 call­ing for an im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion of pol­icy mak­ers to­wards chal­lenges be­ing faced by econ­omy.

In a state­ment is­sued here on Tues­day, LCCI Pres­i­dent Fa­rooq Iftikhar urged pol­icy mak­ers to fo­cus on in­vest­ing in en­ergy so­lu­tions and en­force­ment of law and or­der; while low­er­ing of tar­iffs on smug­gling prone items, in­creas­ing the share of di­rect taxes in rev­enue and low­er­ing the slab of in­di­rect taxes in the forth­com­ing bud­get, in or­der to achieve key eco­nomic tar­gets set for the year 2013-14.

In or­der to tackle en­ergy short­ages, LCCI pres­i­dent said, max­i­mum funds should be al­lo­cated for con­struc­tion of dams, water reser­voirs, tap­ping of Thar Coal, com­ple­tion of IranPak­istan gas pipe­line and es­tab­lish­ment of LNG ter­mi­nals.

The LCCI Pres­i­dent said that at least Rs. 200 bil­lion or 10% of the to­tal bud­get should be al­lo­cated for hy­del power projects; while Fa­rooq Iftikhar said that Coun­try's re­liance on costly ther­mal power was jack­ing up the cost of pro­duc­tion and the im­port bill as well.

He stressed that the coun­try needed an ur­gent shift in its en­ergy-mix in fa­vor of hy­del power and lo­cal fu­els, while also call­ing for use of bio­gas, pro­moted through­out the ru­ral sec­tor both for elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion and gas for cook­ing be­sides pro­duc­ing bio fer­til­izer.

He said that the 175 bil­lion tons of Thar coal re­serves with a price tag of $ 13 tril­lion in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, were suf­fi­cient to pro­vide 100,000 MW of elec­tric­ity for 100 years, while un­in­ter­rupted and af­ford­able power sup­plies can turn Pak­istan into an eco­nomic pow­er­house.

The LCCI Pres­i­dent also hoped that max­i­mum funds would also be made avail­able for the early com­ple­tion of Iran-Pak­istan gas pipe­line and LNG ter­mi­nals to keep the in­dus­trial wheel run­ning es­pe­cially in Pun­jab that has borne the brunt of re­cent sus­pen­sion of gas sup­plies to in­dus­try in the Coun­try.

He ex­pressed con­cerns over the dis­mal state of law and or­der, which was hurt­ing Pak­istan's po­ten­tial as a highly at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­tina- tion. For­eign and in­vestors are shy­ing op­er­at­ing in Pak­istan.

He also ex­pressed his con­cerns that the fall in For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment was likely to af­fect ad­versely the coun­try's eco­nomic growth, and while all devel­oped coun­tries ac­corded spe­cial im­por­tance to eco­nomic is­sues and chal­lenges, Pak­istan's econ­omy was on the bot­tom of pol­icy mak­ers' to-do list.

The LCCI Pres­i­dent said that a num­ber of sec­tors in Pak­istan in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment, coal, en­ergy, agri­cul­ture, live­stock, tex­tiles and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal of­fer lu­cra­tive in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to for­eign in­vestors but un­for­tu­nately due to ab­sence of a proper and well tai­lored mar­ket­ing strat­egy, th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties are unat­tended even to­day.

Fa­rooq Iftikhar also urged the Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue (FBR) to cut the rate of du­ties on all smug­gling-prone items in or­der to check smug­gling of plas­tic mold­ing com­pound, elec­tron­ics, Chem­i­cals, fab­rics and tryres and tubes.

The LCCI Pres­i­dent also sug­gested that the Sales tax slab should im­me­di­ately be cur­tailed in or­der to re­duce in­fla­tion­ary pres­sures. lo­cal from

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.