ISLAMABAD      -          President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Muhammad Ahmed Waheed on Friday urged the government to establish furniture cities or furniture zones in Islamabad and in other major cities of the country that would help in promoting exports of furniture products.

He said Pakistan had huge potential to promote trade and exports of furniture products and government should address key issues of this industry for its better growth.

He said this while addressing a delegation of Furniture Association Islamabad that visited ICCI led by its President Sheikh Javed Iqbal.

All Pakistan Furniture Association President Taj Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that global furniture market was of billions of dollars, but Pakistan’s share in it was quite nominal and stressed that government should develop furniture cities across the country that would promote this industry and boost its exports.

He assured that ICCI would cooperate with Furniture Association Islamabad in resolving their key issues.

Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Javed Iqbal, President, Furniture Association, Golra Road, Islamabad said that their market was located within Islamabad, but CDA was not owning it and problems were multiplying.

He said that street lights were installed but connection was not provided to them due to which theft incidents at night were on the rise in their market.

He said furniture traders were facing problems due to absence of rent control act in Islamabad and urged that government should arrange early passage of its amended bill from parliament for its promulgation.

Ajmal Baloch, President, Anjuman-e-Tijaran Pakistan informed the participants about efforts of trade leaders to resolve tax issues of small traders and rent control act.

He said that Prime Minister would soon announce tax measures for traders that would address their many concerns.

Taj Abbasi, President and Zahid Hussain Chairman, All Pakistan Furniture Association said that furniture industry was the second largest industry of Pakistan after textile, but was facing many problems.

They urged the government to allocate separate space for furniture business in major cities on the pattern of Chiniot that would facilitate better growth of this industry.

He said that 17% sales tax and 4.5% WHT on furniture business should also be revised downward to ease its problems.

Tahir Abbasi Senior Vice President and Saif ur Rahman Vice President ICCI stressed that government to cooperate with furniture exporters in organizing exhibitions in foreign countries to enhance exports.

They also urged the  government to provide support in introducing high-tech machinery and establishing more training centers for skilled workers for furniture industry that would accelerate the growth of this important industry.