Role of industry be appreciated for its potential to harvest maximum benefits: FRIA

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LAHORE
The Ferozepur Road Industrial Association Lahore (FRIA) has suggested the upcoming government-elect to appreciate the role of industry for its potential to harvest maximum benefits, providing mass employment to the jobless population of the country.
The FRIA Senior vice chairman Shahbaz Aslam called for promoting industrialization through lowering cost of production, paying early refunds to solve liquidity crunch and relaxing import policy for industrial raw material.
Shahbaz Aslam said that business community was facing tough challenges because of limited business. In this context, he sought attention of the upcoming elected government for formulation of regional, provincial and central level task force, and formulation of sector wise regional policies which would help the government address the problems confronted by exporters.
The PIAF leader Shahbaz Aslam suggested that One Window Operation should be introduced for the replacing the lengthy pro­cedures that involve interaction of manufacturers with various agen­cies. The government agencies were harassing the textile industry every day.
Social Security, EOBI and other taxes should be merged and deducted at the source.
He also sought government’s attention for formulating aggressive marketing plan and hurdle-free policies as well as urgent decisions in favour of exports while taking on board major stakeholders. He called for concerted efforts for exploring new markets both traditional and non-traditional in order to introduce home made products. He urged the government to announce favourable policies and allow duty-free import of raw material and accessories. This move will attract investors and help in setting up new industries in the country which will create wide opportunities for employment. We direly need a stimulus economic plan coupled with relief package by the government to maximize production. He also emphasized the need for seeking technical knowhow from China and other coun­tries for the sake of innovation, and improvement of products.
The FRIA leader said the sustainable solution to Pakistan’s problems lies in reforms, as we can see very large inefficiencies in tax collection. So, the tax compliance must be improved and tax base be broadened. This cannot be achieved with a single policy change, but by a systemic approach, he added.
He observed the government preferred direct taxation to meet revenue shortfall as opposed to re­sorting to increasing indirect taxes because direct taxes tend to be more progressive in nature; therefore, the burden on the lower income strata of the population is lesser. He emphasized that concentrating on import substitution is imperative to narrow import bills and certain imported products such as oil are of a fixed nature; therefore, the government needs to enhance focus on import substitution industries, as chemicals, agriculture and steel are potential industries.
He said that undertaking structural reforms require political will. He said that enacting structural reforms, such as improvements in tax collection system, bureaucracy and ease of doing business requires major political will and strict implementation of policies, he added.