LAHORE

The ‘Go-Nawaz-Go Slogan’ seems to have found a place in the subconscious of the pro and anti-Nawaz people alike. When during an Annual General Meeting of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry opposition members groups raised slogan ‘Go-Lashari-Go’ against the outgoing president Engineer Sohail Lashari, the LCCI ruling group responded by chanting the slogan: Go-Nawaz Go despite being the strong supporters of the PML-N.

The AGM was attended by a large gathering of trade and industry representatives, including the PIAF-Founders Alliance leadership, Azad Progressive Group, Progressive Customs Alliance Association Group and different markets boards and associations.

While addressing the Annual General Meeting, the newly elected President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ijaz A. Mumtaz, Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir and Vice Presided Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi Tuesday vowed to ensure LCCI role in policy making.

The newly elected office-bearers said that they would focus on energy, trade & investment and law and order to drive desired economic results. “Pakistan, like other developing countries of the region, is facing growing energy demand dilemma and the private sector would have to work hard to exploit all resources to bridge the demand.”

They said that the LCCI would convince the government to expedite work on new water reservoirs to overcome the water shortage. “New reservoirs would not only be generating economical electricity but would also be meeting our irrigation needs and above all would be instrumental in controlling floods. We will attempt to convince the government to simultaneously start work on two to three reservoirs. Elaborating the agenda for the year, the LCCI office-bearers said that an all efforts would be made to get LCCI proposals incorporated in the federal budget. The proposals would be prepared in consultation with economic experts and business community leaders with an objective to ensure maximum allocations for various sectors of the economy. Market visits and a consistent liaison with the fellow businessmen would be the corner stone of the working of the newly elected office-bearers of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Talking about ongoing economic scenario, they said that tightening of belt was a must to wear off the intensity of economic challenges.

They said that inflation could easily be tackled by increasing production and cutting unnecessary expenditures.

They said that high Mark-up was crushing the whole industrial sector like anything and this needs to be taken care of by the concerned authorities. The Federal Board of Revenue should also focus on simplification of taxes as existing procedures were cumbersome in comparison with other economies of the world.

They said that the main objective of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry was the promotion of trade and industry and all available resources would be utilized for economic turnaround as the economic meltdown had now started taking its toll and everybody in suffering badly. While stressing the need for political stability, LCCI newly elected office-bearers said that that politicians should understand well that political stability is must for rapid economic growth. After the AGM, the opposition member groups criticized the ruling alliance, saying that all rules and regulations of conducing annual general meeting of the chamber was violated as no approval was given by the all member participants of the meeting. They alleged that AGM was concluded without getting approval of the chamber accounts to hide their corruption in financial matters. They also claimed that results of election were not announced during the AGM proceedings. Hence, the elected office-bearers are illegal. An opposition’s major group leader vowed to go to DGTO against this illegal procedure of conducting AGM.  At the end of Annual General Meeting, newly elected president, Senior Vice President and Vice President assumed the charge of their offices.