The country will soon join top five nations list with highest growth rate in Asia


From KHALID BUTT, Lahore
May 23 - 29, 2005



Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has expressed the hope that the figure of 8.3 percent growth might further improve and Pakistan would soon be able to join those five countries in Asia showing highest growth rate.

Speaking at the First Achievement Awards ceremony organized by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Prime Minister said that recognition of Lahore's business community was long over due and only institution like LCCI could hold such a mega event.

Shaukat said that there was a lot of economic activity in the country. Pakistan is in news today and we now have to build on this ground to take economy further ahead, he added.

Regarding increase in interact rate, he said, it was due to inflation, which rose on account of surge in oil prices, Nevertheless, interest rate were still low.

On the point raised by the LCCI president regarding effects of economic development on common man, the Prime Minister said that when the economy was growing on such a high rate, it puts pressure on prices. He added that there was 25.7 percent growth in consumption of cooking oil, 39 percent in ginned cotton, 18 percent in yarn, 59 percent in paints and warmish, 20 percent in tractors, 24 percent in cars and jeeps and 47 percent growth in production of motorcycles. He said that a new middle class has emerged in the country due to the efforts of the government. He said that incidence of poverty was mainly concentrated in rural areas. We had to increase both agricultural growth and profitability to reduce poverty graph in the rural areas, he added.

He said that all these results had been achieved due to two-tier policy of the government adopted six years ago. At that time the country's economy was in poor condition. The government followed this policy with the objectives to improve macroeconomic indicators, reduce deficit, increase revenue and growth and improve balance of payments. The government had also launched a comprehensive structural reform program in all facets of the economy whether it was IT or telecommunication or social sectors such as health, education, population planning and legal reforms.

Shaukat Aziz hoped that the LCCI would make the awards ceremony a yearly event as it would not only help the country attain much needed economic prosperity but also create an atmosphere of competition among the businessmen.

The LCCI Achievement Awards ceremony was quite impressive as was attended by over 1,500 leading businessmen besides Federal, Provincial Ministers and top bureaucrats.

The Prime Minister also lauded the Lahore Chamber for selecting winners from various sectors instead of selecting one or two sectors.



As many as 39 leading firms of Lahore got the Awards/Medals from the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The firms included M/s. D.G Khan Cement Ltd (Prime Minister Trophy), M/s. ATS Synthetic (Pvt) Ltd (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), Mumtaz Bakhtawar Memorial Trust Hospital (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. Habib Rafiq (Pvt) Ltd (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. Model Steel Enterprises (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. M.S. Group of Companies (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. Pacific Pharmaceuticals Ltd (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. Nadia Textile International (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. Ihsan Sons (Pvt) Ltd (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. New Shalimar Steel Industries (Pvt) Ltd (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. Viva International (Pvt) Ltd (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. KAM Engineering (Pvt) Ltd (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. Al-Tech Engineering Manufacturing (Businessman of the Year Gold Medal), M/s. Highnoon Laboratories Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Kohinoor Energy Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Ittehad Chemicals Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Sunny Flour Mills (Pvt) Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Lenier Pak Gelatine Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Al-Fateh Store (First Achievement Award), M/s. Ihsan Raiwind Mills (Pvt) Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Orient Group of Companies (First Achievement Award), M/s. Plasack (First Achievement Award), The Bank of Punjab (First Achievement Award), M/s. Flying Board & Paper Products Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. National Feeds Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Amad Enterprises (First Achievement Award), M/s. Star Technologies (First Achievement Award), M/s. Ali Akbar Group of Pakistan (First Achievement Award), M/s. Mr. Denim (Pvt) Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Pak Petrochemical Industries (Pvt) Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Mian Tyre, Rubber Co. Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Leather Coordinators (First Achievement Award), M/s. Numbus International (First Achievement Award), M/s. Pakistan Guarantee Export Corporation Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Suleman & Co (Pvt) Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Reets International (Pvt) Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Pak Hero Industries (Pvt) Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Chistia Sugar Mills Ltd (First Achievement Award), M/s. Ihsan Cotton Products (Pvt) Ltd (First Achievement Award).

The LCCI President, Mian Misbahur Rehman, promised the Prime Minister to make the Achievement Awards a regular feature by bringing more and more sectors in its spectrum.