— Constitution of Punjab Chambers of Commerce Coordination Committee (PCCCC) by Chief Minister Punjab on its journey to accomplishments and execution of commitments with the business community of the province.
Discovering a passageway to the corridors of authority has always been the foremost objective of chambers of commerce of Punjab, a step which all presidents of chambers every year have endeavoured to accomplish with utmost zeal and fervour. The struggle after all these years and aeons have reaped some rewarding outcomes. The caretaker set up of Punjab under the Chief Ministership of Mohsin Naqvi, a businessman and a media mogul has indeed set the ball rolling for providing a long yearned platform for the business community of Punjab. The provincial minister of his cabinet for Industry, Commerce and Investment S.M. Tanveer, belonging to a famous business family and a senior representative in the politics of chambers of Pakistan is also a contemporary of the prominent business circle figures amongst the chieftains of the private sector. Hailing from the private sector fraternity, Tanveer prioritised his moves astutely realising that growth of the economy can only result in progress of the private sector. He himself being an influential and persuasive voice of the business circle recognizes the necessity of an effective platform where private sector can gather and negotiate their vital demands and get possible solutions.
The Constitution of the Punjab Chambers of Commerce Coordination Committee (PCCCC) for the purpose of giving a crossroad for loosening bottlenecks of local businesses is an initiative which has been extensively appreciated by commercial circles of the entire province. Many logjams are expected to be unclogged and many issues are already being tabled for solutions. The constitution of PCCCC is a promising step to improve business environment of the province. It is indisputably an effort which will release tense air, wind of distrust and lack of communication between the public and private sectors. Chief Minister Punjab being the chairman of PCCCC gives distinction and prominence to the cause. The committee further comprises of Minister Industries & Investment as convener, Minister Finance, Chief Secretary Punjab, Inspector General Police Punjab, Chairman Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA), Secretary ICI&SDD, Chief Executive Officer PBIT and all chambers of commerce which are registered with the Ministry of Commerce including women chambers and small chambers as members.
The committee has been formed to steer towards producing solid outcomes with well-defined terms of reference and objectives. Its main purpose is to act as an integrated platform for the industry of Punjab and public sector for efficacious and proficient synchronisation amongst themselves. It is envisioned to gather issues and present them for identification of obstructions which are being encountered by the business community in general; inclusive of traders, industrialists and forthcoming investors. Not only that there should merely be highlighting of problems, but there should be development of concrete and achievable strategies which end in a workable solution both for public and private sectors on working as well as on policy levels. This shall act as a steering committee for implementation of necessary steps which intend to be directed upon by PCCCC. Since, main issue of the business community is that of access to their concerned government departments; therefore the committee shall issue clear directions for completion of targets to the concerned provincial units & entities. Furthermore, recommendations to the federal departments shall also be sent for expansion and facilitation of industry along with monitoring of performance of pertinent departments for turn-around time (TAT) for processing of issues and delivery of services on a case-to-case basis and presentation of report to the Chairman of PCCCC i.e. the Chief Minister of Punjab. There will be regular follow up with the concerned government departments for protection of customers and consumers rights. The committee will play an effective role in the industrialization of Punjab in collaboration with the chambers, trade bodies, business associations of Punjab and Pakistani Foreign Mission Offices.
Proceeding with actualization of this plan, first meeting of PCCCC has already taken place at the Chief Minister’s Office co-chaired by the Minister of Industries Punjab. The Minister on this occasion has shown tenacity and determination on devising a methodology to take up imperative and vital issues for removing gridlocks of the businesses which include matters related to double taxations by Punjab Revenue Authority, issues pertaining to Environment & Industries Departments, one window facilitation for industrialists in special economic zones, infrastructural concerns with Communication & Works Department, difficulties being faced by the small and medium enterprises with Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) and Agriculture Department of Punjab for solving obstacles for cotton growers. S.M. Tanveer has further assured the business community of Punjab that doable & rational problems will be solved on priority on a need-to-need basis. He has strictly instructed the concerned departments that attainable solutions should not take an inordinate amount of time.
The steps taken by the Government of Punjab have been cordially welcomed by the private sector gurus. Proof of importance to the already stated cause is the keen interest which the Chief Minister has demonstrated by chairing the first meeting and ensuring the presence of concerned senior officials and executives along with a large representation from chambers all over Punjab. IG Punjab in the meeting apprised that an Industry-Police Liaison Committee shall be immediately effectuated where DPOs have been instantaneously advised to develop a strong working relationship with the local chambers of commerce. Since, majority problems of private sector enterprises are law & order related, consequently a District Coordination Committee for Trade & Industry (DCCTT) has been promptly notified which shall meet on monthly basis to address grievances and problems of businesspersons, industrialists & traders and send recommendations to the suitable forum. In order to expedite the redressal process; District Coordination Committee shall develop a Centralised Information Control Center and hotline for proficient synchronisation.
Deputy Commissioners, District Police Officers, District Officers of concerned government departments and representatives of chambers, small chambers and women chambers are members of this committee.
Presidents of Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Multan and Sheikhupura Chambers have voiced their gratitude and satisfaction over constitution of PCCCC and DCCTT. These committees shall also serve as a pedestal for exchange of information amongst chambers regarding international expos, delegations, roadshows, conferences, methodologies and for enhancing exports & investment opportunities in the province. The business community has expressed contentment on declaring Punjab Board of Investment & Trade as the secretariat of PCCCC due to its efficacy and open-door policy for the businesses of Punjab.
The efforts of CM Punjab and Minister Industries S.M. Tanveer continue to hail in the direction for uplifting business in Punjab. The result of the continuous efforts and the matter being on high priority is that a second high-powered meeting of PCCCC was held under the able guidance of CM Punjab Mohsin Naqvi where a representative delegation of Chambers of Commerce & Industries and trader organizations of 25 districts met with the Caretaker Chief Minister whereby the Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar joined the meeting online to give an audience to the issues being faced by the business community of Punjab. CM Naqvi detailed S.M. Tanveer to assure speedy and prompt solutions of the issues of the commercial circles of the province. Moreover, creation of a special cell has been instructed with assistance of the Ministry of Finance to iron out the issues relating to the flow of remittances. As per the instructions of the Chief Minister, a new cell would be established under the able portfolio of the Minister Industries umbrella in the Industries Department of Punjab. S.M. Tanveer who has personally visited most of the chambers of commerce of Punjab and has meticulously outreached the business circles of the province is all set to execute the vision of CM to change the obsolete procedural methodologies of getting NOCs for starting businesses from different departments. The execution of rapid system of attainment of NOCs within 30 days is his top priority.
In order to expedite commercial activity in the province, steps for the expansion of roads of Industrial Estates of Rahim Yar Khan and Lahore, construction and extension projects of Sargodha-Bhalwal Road and completion of the steel bridge of Fort Munro Phase one and phase three have swiftly been taken up by S.M. Tanveer under the guidance of CM Punjab. Construction, repair and restoration work of road from Dera Ghazi Khan to Quetta and Rajanpur road will be done in order to enhance inter-provincial trade. As a result of Tanveer’s unrelenting effort for extending support for industrialization of Punjab, establishment of Industrial Estate 2 in Sahiwal is also being reviewed.
The business community of the province expresses optimism and anticipation for better days to come.
By Fatima Ali Khan