PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Board of Investment (BoI) of the federal government have decided to form a joint working group to resolve issues of the business community as well as to promote investment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by creating favourable business environment under the prime minister’s vision of ‘ease of doing business’.

The decision was taken during a meeting in Peshawar on Thursday. The SCCI team was represented by its president Sherbaz Bilour and BOI by its executive director general and additional secretary Mukarram Jan Ansari. KP Board of Investment and Trade (KP-BOIT) chief executive officer Hassan Daud Butt and Smeda provincial chief Rashid Aman were also present on the occasion.

The chamber chief said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had enormous potential for investors. However, he described the government’s initiatives regarding ease of doing business as insufficient.

He said SCCI in collaboration with relevant government departments, including KP-BOIT, was making efforts to attract investments, promote industrialisation and resolve issues of the business community.

He lamented that constitutional rights of KPhadalways been usurped by successive governments. He called upon the government to offer a special economic relief package and incentives to attract investment in KP, especially in merged tribal districts and former Provincially Administered Tribal Areas.

Responding to queries of the participants, Mr Ansari said that under the PM’s vision the BOI was taking practical measures in collaboration with provincial boards of investment to attract investment and create favourable business environment in the country.

He acknowledged that the KP’s business community had confronted numerous problems owing to complicated laws and cumbersome procedures, which had slowed down industrial and trade activities in the province.

He said BOI in collaboration with KP-BOIT would launch a programme for facilitating the business community and resolving the issues of traders.

Mr Ansari disclosed that the government had introduced a new taxation regime for small traders in fiscal budget 2021-22 under which tax returns would be filed on a single page. He said access to credit for small and medium enterprises had been made easier through this initiative.

He also said Web-Based One Customs (WeBoC) would be replaced with Pakistan Single Window system to remove irritants and boost exports and imports.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021

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