FAISALABAD. Young but dynamic bureaucrats must make policy decisions with open heart and mind without any influence of the past and obsolete and redundant strategies, said Dr. Khurram Tariq, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI). Addressing the participants of the 37thMid-Career course of the National Institute of Management (NIM) Lahore, he said that evolution has made it compulsory to synchronize new ideas and out of box solutions with futuristic vision to facilitate the public at large. He said that the ground realities are changing at a much faster pace and hence under training young officers must start budgeting from zero without any consideration of prevailing perceptions and notions. He said that what happened last year would become irrelevant and hence we must exploit our own inherent capabilities to make appropriate decisions regarding policy making. About CSR, he said that we are not competing with any other chamber but we have our own priorities to serve the deprived segments of the society.
He said that FCCI has taken the responsibility to provide missing facilities in labour welfare schools in addition to their up gradation. He said that currently three different ministries are involved in labour related issues. “Sindh has brought all these facilities under one ministry”, he said and added that we must replicate this model in Punjab to avoid duplication and get better results. He said that we are patronizing “Agosh” (Orphanage) at the national level. He said that the drop out of students after matric is very alarming and we have suggested introducing technical and IT skills in the syllabus of matriculation so that the dropped-out students could start their own businesses. He said that Faisalabad is the only city where children’s dialysis has been started. Similarly, mentally challenged children are also being patronized to become a productive member of the civil society. Dr. Khurram Tariq said that he had announced plans to transform Faisalabad into Cyberabad and in this connection a slogan of “Tech & Style” was given to provide a conducive climate for the promotion of IT. He said that Faisalabad is the second largest educational city after Lahore and we invited the Vice chancellors to educate and train the human resource with a futuristic vision. He lamented that they had no “skill mapping” and the courses currently introduced in different universities would become irrelevant as the students would complete their degree program. Hence, we must adopt a futuristic vision to train our precious asset of human resource.
Dr. Khurram Tariq said that he has plans to transform Faisalabad into a city of “Brotherhood (Sher-e-Akhwa). Under this strategy the haves would extend interest free loans to have-nots enabling them to start respectable businesses and earn their own livelihood. He said that it would be a city focused program. About the problems of FCCI, he said that Karachi and Lahore are included in different national level committees as they are seated in provincial headquarters. On the contrary Faisalabad has been included in these committees purely due to its competence and merit. “We are now representing the business community of Faisalabad in standing committees of NA & Senate”, he said and added that for the first time President FCCI has been picked as chairman of the anomaly committee to redress the budget related grievances. Responding to a question about FIEDMC, he said that it is a 15 years old project but only 10% colonization and 20% development works have been completed so far. He said that it is a clear and typical example of our bureaucratic attitude. He said that being a board member, he had proposed projects of Rs.87bn along with its recovery schedule but one fine morning the board was dissolved and all the proposed projects were abandoned. About differences between chambers and associations, Dr. Khurram Tariq clarified that chambers have territorial jurisdiction representing all sectors of the economy. “On the other side the associations are sector specific trade organizations fighting for their sector specific problems”, he said and added that in addition to chambers, we also have women and small chambers which represent women entrepreneurs and traders & cottage industry respectively. About the revival of the textile sector, President FCCI said that the government should not create hurdles and recover the actual cost of the electricity. “We are not demanding any subsidy”, he said and added that it would be unjustified to charge us the power pilferage of other Discos.
He said that the recovery rate of FESCO is 99.2% but we are subjected to unfair uniform tariffs on the pretext of a political economy. Giving a brief introduction of FCCI, he said that this city was established by colonial rulers in 1898 to strengthen its grip on this area and develop it as a Mandi Town to cater to the food requirements of the British army. He said that the city was designed on the pattern of “Union Jack” which has now become an important industrial and business hub of the country. He said that Faisalabad is located in the heart of Pakistan which is linked with the reliable road and rail network. “Two state-of-the-art motorways pass from its east and west linking it with north and south”, he said and added that it could become a potential hub of logistics as distribution from this city up to Sukkur is possible in just only a few hours. He further said that FCCI has state of the art industrial estates sprawling over 10,000 acres. He said that the textile sector made tremendous progress as raw material was available in the form of cotton in abundance. He termed it as one of the largest organic cities of Pakistan as it made unprecedented growth in the absence of a garrison. He said that the total population of district Faisalabad is 9 million including five million urban inhabitants. About FCCI, he said that it is the third premier and most effective chamber of the country. “It has 8300 members hailing from more than 118 sectors and subsectors of the economy”, he said and added that sector specific standing committees are constituted to identify and redress their problems. About the advocacy of the business community, he said that we are not only highlighting the problems confronted by our members but also bridging the gap between the government and businesses. He said that core responsibilities of the FCCI is to resolve problems and issue visa recommendation letters with due diligence. He said that FCCI also presented pre-budget proposals with a focused approach to enhance tax revenue without creating harassment among the business community. Senior Vice President Dr. Sajjad Arshad also responded to the questions and queries of the delegates and said that our FCCI R&D sector could not give tangible results like other departments of the government. Muhammad Azhar Director General Pakistan House also addressed the meeting while Dr. Sajjad Arshad presented FCCI memento to Mr. Muhammad Farooq, Directing Staff NIM Lahore. Earlier the participants also introduced themselves.