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PESHAWAR, June 11: The Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peshawar, (WCCIP), has called upon the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to create an enabling environment for development of women entrepreneurship in the province through policy initiatives.

Addressing the newly-elected women parliamentarians from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Tuesday, WCCIP president Ms Nuzhat Rauf said that the chamber had initiated policy discussions with the support of Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) on “entrepreneurship development policy for the women of KP” to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region to increase the startup opportunities for the women entrepreneurs.

She said that the new government should give priority to the initiative which, she hoped, would help improve livelihood and create jobs in micro, small and medium enterprises.

The chamber’s vice-president, Shamama Arbab, impressed upon the audience to create an environment to encourage a growing number of university-qualified female students with potential to start their businesses.

She said that this could only be done if some improvements were brought about in policies in the provinces. She said that this could be done through the creation of IT parks, providing microfinance facilities, introducing entrepreneurship curriculum at school level, etc. Mrs Fitrat Ilyas Bilour, leader of the group, said that the WCCIP was formed to promote a culture of women entrepreneurship in order to provide opportunities to the aspiring women entrepreneurs.

Qaumi Watan Party parliamentarian Ms Miraj Humayun Khan said that the elected members were encouraged to know about the WCCIP’s initiative and assured support of the party.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA Ms Dina Naz assured to raise voice for the cause of women in the provincial assembly. She said that the WCCIP should identify barriers that impeded women development, the support it needed from parliamentarians in promoting entrepreneurship in the region and in implementation of various initiatives.

Yasin Khalil, PTI MPA from Peshawar, said that the business community faced a number of problems that should be looked into. He said that priority should be given to education and skill development. He appreciated the initiative of WCCIP and suggested its meeting with the chief minister to apprise him of its programme. He said that a separate industrial estate for women could also be established.

Others present on the occasion included MPAs Mrs Naseem Hayat, Ms Romana, Ms Ayesha Naeem, Dr Mehertaj Roghani, Ms Nagina and president Girls Guide Mrs Ruhi Zahir Shah.