ISLAMABAD: Expressing a need to restore confidence in the official functionaries, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has asked the government to speed up taxation reforms and privatise loss-making state-owned enterprises, especially in the energy sector.

Addressing a news conference on Monday after meeting with Commerce Minister Jam Kamal, FPCCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh said that the apex chamber has established a think tank comprising experts from various sectors to steer the country out of the current economic quagmire.

“The Economic Revival Think Tank would identify the hurdles and lacunas in the system and advise the government to ensure that the country’s exports reach $100 billion by 2030,” Mr Sheikh said.

He added that one of the key demands of the business community had been the continuity of policies and the eradication of the culture of obtaining permissions from multiple doors.

“The one-window operation has been established in the form of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), and the FPCCI has decided that its Vision 2030 will continue for the next seven years even after there was a leadership change in the FPCCI,” he said.

The critical issues faced by the business community and the impediments to increasing exports were the high tax rate and the high energy cost.

“We are also getting the wrong picture — there was no pressure from the IMF against decreasing taxes or lowering gas or electricity charges,” the FPCCI president said, adding that the only demand from the IMF is to streamline their business model.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2024

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