Pakistan: Terrorism hampering business growth

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The National

LAHORE – The business community on Sunday asked the government to uproot terrorism though military operation, as the outcome of dialogues with Taliban has failed to produce desired results, saying the economic condition will not improve unless the law and order situation is seriously tackled.

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Standing Committee on Halal Food Naseeb Ahmad Saifi said that bad law and order and terrorism are hampering growth of the whole industry including the meat processing sector, as foreign buyers are not ready to come to Pakistan.

The normal condition and peaceful atmosphere of the country can enhance halal meat exports to $5-6 billion dollars with in very short period. He said that the government should make its economic officers more active in missions abroad for ensuring access of Pakistani halal meat and other food products to the international market which could help increase the halal exports of the country by three times.

Naseeb Saifi said that small industrial units situated on Manga Raiwind Road are without gas for a long time, besides facing 14 our load shedding, increasing input cost of the exporters’ manifold due to which they are facing it difficult to compete with India and African countries in the international market.  He urged the government to take serious notice of the law and order situation immediately and initiate steps to arrest fast surging crime graph, warning that it may spill over to other regions.

“We understand that the law and order is a major cause of decline in local and foreign investment and if the government fails to respond to private sector’s call, the economy will continue to slide, resulting in closure of industry and trade.”

He said that the government must reset its priorities as far as the trade and industry is concerned. Provision of security to the businessmen is prime responsibility of the government and it should fulfill its duty. It not only sends a negative signal to foreign investors but also causes brain drain, he said.