Taking private sector on board would create jobs, generate power: LCCI | Pakistan Today

Taking private sector on board would create jobs, generate power: LCCI

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that the government should take the Private sector on board if it is really interested in jobs creation and power generation. In a statement issued here Monday, the LCCI President Irfan Qiser Sheikh indicated that the lack of skilled human resource, energy deficit, high cost of doing business, government policy of heavy borrowing and non availability of cheaper money to the businessmen had badly affected the industrialization process in the country. The LCCI President said that job creation is only possible through expansion in economic activities that has come to a grinding halt due to gas and energy shortages. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the government would have to strengthen the private sector to achieve its economic goals and continuous supply of cheaper energy and a cut in interest rate are prerequisite to it. The LCCI President said that the business community was unable to understand the logic behind highest ever interest rates while same could be curtailed by bringing down the banking spread. While in the supply of electricity could be ensured to the industry by controlling electricity pilferage.
Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said Lahore is the second largest industrial city of the country after Karachi but the energy situation in the part is very bad that is leading to industrial closures and massive lay-offs what to talk of provision of jobs to new graduates. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the country’s reliance on costly thermal power is jacking up the cost of production and import bill. The country needs an urgent shift in its energy-mix in favor of hydle power and local fuels. He said that the 175 billion tons of Thar coal reserves with a price tag of $ 13 trillion in the international market, are enough to provide 100,000 MW of electricity for 100 years.
Uninterrupted and affordable power supplies can turn Pakistan into an economic powerhouse. The LCCI President also hoped that the government would earmark funds 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.
Rising risk perception about investing into Pakistan is hitting hard the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that fell sharply in recent months and needs to be tackled through a comprehensive policy approach by involving Chambers of Commerce in the country. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that all the developed countries accord special importance to economic issues and the challenges. But in Pakistan the situation is the other way round and the economy is on the bottom of government’s to-do list.

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