LAHORE, April 10: The Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) will provide loans of up to Rs3 million at a low interest rate of seven per cent to entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses in the province on a 40:60 equity ratio.

This was stated by Punjab Industries Minister Ajmal Cheema at a function at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Saturday.

He said the provincial government would make all-out efforts to encourage exporters to produce and export items which had never been made locally to diversify exports of the country.

He said the Punjab offered ideal conditions and environment for new businesses and fresh investments. He said that businessmen should try to grab the opportunity created by imposition of 50 per cent anti-dumping duty by the US on shopping bags from China.

LCCI president MIan Anjum Nisar said the chamber had been making concerted efforts to educate the business community on various investment sectors for enabling them to make profitable and wise investment decisions.

He underlined the need for effective public-private sector partnerships in order to ensure economic stability and attract fresh investment in the country in view of the challenges posed by the WTO regime. "There is dire need for strengthening the private-public partnership to facilitate economic growth in the country."

He also called upon the government to reduce the number of taxes and withdraw the property tax on land for future industrial use.

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