Senate body stresses uniform criteria for all provinces in FPCCI election

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  • Committee terms one-year tenure of FPCCI president as insufficient, as ‘most of the time is spent in preparation for next election’

ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile has called for uniform criteria for all provinces in terms of election and representation in the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

The committee also observed that the tenure of one year for the president of the FPCCI was insufficient, as almost all the time was spent in the next election campaign.

The committee members were of the view that the chambers of commerce need to be more vibrant, as they have the primary task of promoting business and trade in and outside the country.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi at the Parliament House on Wednesday. Leader of the House Senator Shibli Faraz along with Senators Nauman Wazir Khattak, Mian Ateeq Shaikh, Dilawar Khan, Ghous Muhammad Niazi and Ahmed Khan, Commerce Secretary Ahmed Sukhera, FPCCI President Daroo Khan Achakzai, State Life Insurance Corporation executive director, National Insurance Company Limited acting CEO and officials from the ministry and bodies concerned were also present on the occasion.

The committee was given a detailed briefing on the role and functions of the federal chamber. The committee members emphasised the need to establish data and policy analysis wing in FPCCI. They also called for a formal mechanism so that recommendations could be shared between the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), FPCCI and the Commerce Division.

The members asked the FPCCI about the frequency of sharing recommendations and proposals and the percentage of their acceptance. They agreed that before entering into any agreement, there should be thorough engagements between the chambers, associations and stakeholders so that concrete proposals could be finalised.

Meanwhile, the meeting was given a briefing on the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement Phase-II by the Ministry of Commerce.

It was told that under the FTA-II, China has provided immediate liberalisation on 313 tariff lines, which make 64 billion of China’s global imports and 83pc of Pakistan’s global exports.

‘Fair Election’

Moreover, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Chairman Mian Anjum Nisar urged the Directorate General of Trade Organisation (DGTO) to allow the voting process in FPCCI’s Lahore and Islamabad offices. He also urged the DGTO to facilitate the voters in the upcoming elections, scheduled to be held in December this year.

“Ballot boxes may be presented in the respective regional and capital offices so that maximum voters can take part in the process,” he stated. “This will also enhance the democratic process in the apex trade body.”

The BMP chairman informed that right now, FPCCI election was only conducted in its head office in Karachi. “It is difficult to make all arrangements for the executive committee and governing body members, including supporters, to cast their due vote in favour of their respective groups.”

On a question regarding FPCCI’s election commission, Anjum Nisar claimed that every year the ruling group gets approved its blue-eyed officials for the office of the election commission. This year, he added, the opposition would ensure that the members of the commission would remain neutral.

“We would also want the representation of at least two BMP members in the election commission,” he added.

He claimed that the lacklustre policies of the FPCCI have embarrassed the business community in front of the government and also at international forums.

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