ISLAMABAD: Showing concerns over the below-target performance of key sectors of economy as shown by the Economic Survey for 2014-15, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to take urgent measures for addressing the key issues of agriculture, industrial and services sectors enabling them to contribute more effectively in the economic development of the country.
Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the government had targeted 3.3 percent growth in agriculture, 6.8 percent in industrial and 5.2 percent in services sectors for the financial year 2014-15, however, the actual performance of these three sectors fell short of targets leading to slower than anticipated GDP growth. It is enough to prove that government has been unable to take concrete measures for creating enabling environment for the growth of business activities.
He said multiple factors including energy crisis, high cost of doing business and security challenges have combined to affect the growth of industry, agriculture and services sectors and stressed that government should take initiatives to address their issues on priority basis.
He said setting growth targets becomes a meaningless exercise if not backed up by the supportive measures. He said government has set GDP growth target of 5.5 percent for the financial year 2015-16, however he cautioned that achieving this target would not be possible without coping with major hurdles including energy deficit, high production cost, complicated taxation system, lack of farms-to-market infrastructure and others issues.
Muzzamil Sabri suggested that government should take business leaders on board and develop new strategies and policies based on their input that could be helpful in removing the bottlenecks and putting the country on the path of sustainable economic growth.
He also called upon the government to withdraw the move of imposing 16% withholding tax on hotels/motels in Islamabad as it would have negative impact on the local hotel industry. He said Islamabad is already a costly city of the country and imposition of new tax would make it more costly.