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Uniform criteria for all provinces for FPCCI election

07 May, 2019

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The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile Industry on Monday called for uniform criteria for all provinces in terms of election and representation in the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

The committee also observed that the tenure of one year for the president of the FPCCI was insufficient, and almost all the time was spent in the next election campaign. The committee members were of the view that the chambers of commerce had to be vibrant and have the primary task of promoting business and trade, and added that the FPCCI was asked to come up with its proposal on the same.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi at the Parliament House, and was attended among others by Leader of the House Senator Shibli Faraz; senators Nauman Wazir Khattak, Mian Ateeq Shaikh, Dilawar Khan, Ghous Muhammad Niazi and Ahmed Khan; Commerce Secretary Ahmed Sukhera; the FPCCI president; SLIC executive director; the NICL acting CEO and officials from the ministry and bodies concerned. The committee was given a detailed briefing on the role and functions of the FPCCI. The need to have a data and policy analysis wing and a formal mechanism to share recommendations among the FBR, the FPCCI and the Commerce Industry was emphasised.

The members asked the FPCCI about the frequency of sharing recommendations and proposals and the percentage of their acceptance. They agreed that before entering into any agreement, thorough engagements and sessions should be held with chambers, associations and all stakeholders to get concrete proposals before finalising the agreement. The meeting was given a briefing on the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement Phase-II by the Ministry of Commerce and Textile Industry, and the duty-free access granted by China to Pakistan. The committee was told that extensive sessions with local industries and associations were held and opinion from all stakeholders was taken. The committee was informed that the FTA-II not only granted free access to a huge market but also had provisions for protecting the local industry. Senator Dilawar Khan remarked that an industrial unit in Pakistan had stated producing a self-destructing syringe, which was not available in many countries, and had won the UNO tender. The committee noted that in cases like these, where local industry was producing efficient products, it should be protected and export on similar items should be banned to promote indigenous people and employment.

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