ISLAMABAD - Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that women accounted for almost half of country’s total population and bringing them in the economic mainstream was essential for sustainable growth of the country.

He called upon the government to take policy measures to create a conductive environment for promoting women enterprises in the country. He said this while exchanging views with a delegation of Rawalpindi Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RWCCI) that called on him led by its Senior Vice President Ms. Sadia Waseem Khawaja. Rafat Farid Senior Vice President, Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President ICCI and others were also present at the occasion.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that our women were highly talented and if provided with right environment as well as better exposure, they had the potential to excel in every field. He stressed that the government should focus on policymaking for creating a friendly environment for women entrepreneurs. He said that PTI leadership had always raised voice for the economic empowerment of women and it was the right time for PTI government to transform its intentions into reality for women development. He said that the government has decided to separate policymaking and tax administration in FBR which was laudable move and hoped that its implementation would promote better tax culture in the country. However, he emphasized that the government should take urgent measures to resolve the tax issues of women entrepreneurs.

Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President ICCI assured that ICCI would cooperate with RWCCI for promoting the interests of women entrepreneurs. Both sides also discussed various issues of common interests.

Sadia Waseem Khawaja, Senior Vice President, Rawalpindi Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry highlighted the various issues being faced by the women entrepreneurs. She said that the lack of tax reforms was impeding the growth of women enterprises. She said the random audit selection process of FBR was creating problems for businesses including women entrepreneurs and urged that FBR should streamline it. She said women entrepreneurs of boutique business were paying double tax in the form of income and sales tax that should be revised. She said ICCI should take WRCCI on board while forming its delegations to foreign countries and holding exhibitions so that with joint efforts, new opportunities for women entrepreneurs could be explored.