PESHAWAR -

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah has said that after a decade-long unrest, peace is restored in KPK and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).  “Life has become normal to a great extent and the businessmen should come forward to invest for generating economic activities in the area,” he added. Inaugurating the 2nd meeting of the Managing Committee of the Federation of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was hosted by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday.

The governor further pointed out, “We have been facing problems in KPK and Fata for the last decade but now we have entered into a new phase and are on the path of revival.”

The ceremony attended by the leading businessmen and industrialists from across the country. President FPCCI Malik Zubair, ex-president FPCCI Tariq Saeed and Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik also addressed the meeting.

Appreciating holding of the session at the Federal Capital, the governor said, “I have come to Islamabad to invite the business community to invest in Fata as the situation has improved there.” He said that the government would be providing security if required.  In this connection, he particularly mentioned the marble city, which was being established near Peshawar and pointed out that work on developing industrial plots was carrying on expeditiously.  “To ensure stable electrification system, Wapda has also been asked to establish grid station at the marble city,” he added.

The ground reality is, the governor said, a huge quantity of marble was wasted due to use of old technology and if properly explored, the mineral sector of the country alone had the potential to run the economy of the country.

Engineer Shaukatullah urged the need for expanding tax net instead of putting further burden on the existing taxpayers. Irony of the fact is, he said that out of total 0.8m taxpayers, 0.5 million are government employees while 0.3m others, including businessmen.  “Rather putting further burden on these 0.3 million, indeed there is a need to take measures to broaden tax net regime,” he said.  Secondly, he said, “We also need to simplify the overall tax system to make it user friendly.”

Speaking on the occasion, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inftikhar Ali Malik stressed the importance of ensuring a conducive atmosphere in the province and Fata to encourage investments especially from overseas Pakistanis.  “We have to create an atmosphere to facilitate overseas Pakistanis to come here and invest in various fields of economy,” he said.

Earlier, President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zafar Bakhtawari stressed the need for broadening the tax net. He said that political stability was the key for economic development and described the upcoming scenario a good omen for making this possible.