KCCI, BMG chiefs concerned over proposed changes in trade laws sans industry input


Businessmen Group (BMG) Chairman Siraj Kassam Teli and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Muhammad Haroon Agar expressed concerns over proposed changes in the Trade Organisation Act, 2012 and demanded that the country’s business and industrial stakeholders, especially the KCCI must be taken onboard before any changes were implemented.
They strongly urged that, for the sake of Pakistan’s economy, no changes in the said Act be made without consultation with the business and industrial community of Pakistan through their genuine representatives. They said the true spirit of Trade Organisations Ordinance, 2007 must not change in the Trade Organisation Act, 2012. They demanded that a meeting be convened with all the trade bodies of the country for due deliberations on the Trade Organisation Act, 2012.
Teli stated after approval from National Assembly, the Act 2012 had been sent to Senate for consensus and approval but the Senate’s Standing Committee on Commerce Chairman Senator Ghulam Ali belonged to a particular business group and is himself a party in the matter who has proposed several amendments in the Act. We cannot accept a unilateral decision based on vested interest at all, he said.
Teli said the Trade Organisation Act, 2012 and its rules must be revisited in consultation with all stakeholders owing to controversial new clauses.
The new Act, Teli said, was not at all in the spirit of the Trade Organisations Ordinance, 2007 which was prepared with consultation of genuine stakeholders across the country. The prime objective of the Trade Organisations Ordinance, 2007 was to eliminate fake and bogus associations, he said. He stressed that today’s world is a global village where economic power is of utmost importance which made it imperative to have correct economic policies to survive in the comity of nations. Therefore, it is very important to have genuine representative trade bodies for interaction, resolution, and formulation of right policies with the government, said Teli.
Teli recalled that a neutral committee headed by Justice (r) Saleem Akhtar of the Supreme Court consulted all stakeholders of the business and industrial community of Pakistan and after detailed deliberations and meetings stretching over a period of two years, the Trade Organisation Ordinance, 2007 was promulgated with consensus. Implementation of the 2007 Act, he said, put an end to irregularities in the process of registration of trade bodies which proved the fact that the demand and promulgation of this Ordinance was genuine.
Agar said owing to reservations of the business and industrial community on the recently passed Trade Organisation Act, 2012 by the National Assembly without consultation of all genuine stakeholders across Pakistan, KCCI had sent a letter to the honourable president of Pakistan and the prime inister to intervene into the matter and take onboard all genuine stakeholders. Speaker of National Assembly, Senate Chairman along with heads and members of Standing Committees of National Assembly and Senate on Commerce were also requested for their involvement to remove the apprehensions of the business and industrial community in this regard, he said.


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