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Balochistan uplift on priority: President

October 20, 2012

President Asif Ali Zardari. — File Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Friday the government accorded priority to Balochistan and was making efforts for socio-economic development of the province.

Talking to a delegation of the Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) at the Presidency, he said the government was aware of the challenges in Balochistan, particularly the law and order situation, and striving to address the issue.

In a briefing to reporters, president’s spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar quoted Mr Zardari as saying boosting trade activities and facilitating business people were government’s priorities.

The president said that in view of the importance of exports, the government was planning to offer targeted incentives to the businessmen. Recounting the steps taken by the government to facilitate the business fraternity, he said the government had met a long-standing demand of the business people by decreasing the mark-up rate.

The government had introduced the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) for the years 2009-12 in addition to annual trade policy, he said. Work on STPF 2012-15 was under way in consultation with stakeholders, he added.

To diversify and enhance exports, he said, the government was actively engaged with international community and partners for increased market access.

In this regard, the president mentioned different bilateral pacts and agreements with the European Union, Economic Cooperation Organisation and Central Asian republics that would offer great opportunities to local entrepreneurs.

He said the role of the government was that of a facilitator and its initiatives could succeed only if these were seconded by the efforts of the business people.

The delegation was led by QCCI president Ghulam Farooq.Salman Faruqui, secretary general to the president, and secretaries of finance, petroleum, water and power, industries and planning and development attended the meeting.—APP