Published: December 19, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The business community of Rawalpindi and Islamabad has called on the government to share full information about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project with the private sector as holding back its details is sparking concerns among businessmen.
The matter came up for discussion during a meeting between the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) and the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
In a joint statement, the chamber presidents said an industrial zone under CPEC was planned to be set up for Rawalpindi and Islamabad, but the government did not consult with chambers of the twin cities about its location and the industries to be set up there, which was regrettable.
They stressed that the industrial zone should be established in consultation with the chambers of the twin cities.
They said they were supportive of the CPEC project, which created a lot of opportunities for the country, but their only concern was that the domestic industry should not get hurt by the mega project.
📎They emphasised that the businessmen wanted to know details of the incentives finalised for the Chinese and Pakistani investors as well as tax concessions offered to the investors on the import of machinery.
The business leaders were of the view that the business community was a key stakeholder in CPEC and the government should have taken the private sector on board so that it could help maximise business prospects.
However, keeping them in the dark has triggered many concerns. They urged the government to immediately share full details of CPEC in order to remove concerns of the private sector.
ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed and RCCI President Zahid Latif Khan also discussed issues related to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). These included raids on business premises, installation of real-time monitory system on restaurants, freezing of bank accounts and high taxes on real estate.
They emphasised that the FBR should address these issues, otherwise they would launch a joint campaign to safeguard business interests.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2017