Contrary to the conventional working style of the
business leaders, the newly elected President of Lahore Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mian Shafqat Ali, has pledged to utilize
the resources and the strong clout of the chamber for social welfare
projects purely on humanitarian grounds.
Mian Shafqat Ali has announced that the new
Executive Committee would concentrate on social welfare projects
during its tenure by taking start with establishing a university of
international standard, besides setting up an eye hospital in the
Mian Shafqat Ali, while speaking at the Annual
General Meeting of the Chamber, expressed his ambitious plans for
knowledge based growth of the economy, which requires establishment of
quality educational institutions to develop the human capital
available in the country.
The meeting was also addressed by newly elected
Senior Vice President Abdul Basit, Vice President Aftab Vohra, former
LCCI President Mian Misbahur Rehman, former Senior Vice President
Sohail Lashari, former Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad and
former LCCI/FPCCI President Iftikhar Ali Malik.
Mian Shafqat, while declaring 2006 a year of social
welfare, said that the LCCI, with the help of its members, would work
for the promotion of education in the country, which is a dire need of
the hour. While citing the example of Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, Mian Shafqat said that the incumbent office-bearers would
take the LCCI to the height where Tokyo Chamber is today. He said that
not only the membership would be raised but the ambit of its services
would also be widened as the Tokyo Chamber has 85000 members at the
moment with a number of sub offices in Tokyo.
The LCCI President said that the trust reposed by
the LCCI members in the PIAF-Founders Alliance would never be
shattered and the new office-bearers would continue to serve the
business community with same zeal, which was shown by his
predecessors. He said that his doors are open for every businessman.
Addressing the Annual General Meeting, Senior Vice
President Abdul Basit said that the opportunity entrusted to him would
be fulfilled to solve the problems being faced by the business
community. Abdul Basit said that LCCI is a true representative of the
businessmen and it would come up to the expectations of the trading
community. He also thanked the voters for providing him a chance to
The newly elected Vice President Aftab Vohra vowed
to serve the LCCI members to the best of his abilities. He said that
the benchmark set by his predecessors would be maintained at every
cost. Earlier, the outgoing LCCI President Mian Misbahur Rehman
presented the accounts details for approval. The Returning Officer,
Sheikh Saleem Ali, announced official results of the LCCI polls.
Meanwhile, the newly elected office-bearers took
charge of their respective offices after the AGM. A large number of
Pakistani businessmen would participate in the Inaugural meeting of
the World Islamic Economic Forum scheduled from October 1 to 3 in
Petaling, Malaysia. According to details they include former FPCCI
presidents Iftikhar Ali Malik, S.M Muneer, Women entrepreneurs Mrs
Rukhsana Jehangir, Ms Salma Waheed Murad and Ms Mariam Issa. A total
of 32 businesspersons would attend the forum inclusive of 10
businesspersons who are part of the entourage of Prime Minister
Shaukat Aziz, who would also be visiting Malaysia and is the key note
speaker in the inaugural session of the forum. Official LCCI spokesman
and President-elect LCCI for the year 2005-06 Mian Shafqat Ali has
nominated Mian Nauman Kabir, Member Executive Committee as the
official spokesmen for Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Meanwhile, Mian Nauman Kabir has urged the State
Bank of Pakistan to bring the markup rate for long term financing down
to three percent. In a statement, Mian Nauman Kabir said that high
rate of markup for long term financing is not only hitting the
industrial sector hard but also giving rise to graph of unemployment.
The increasing interest rates, in fact, have become
major concern for the business community as well as the common man as
the costly banking loans are fading charms in the consumer, housing,
and export financing segments. The increase in interest rates actually
was being used by the central bank to restrict the mounting inflation
in the country which is yet another threat to the economy. It's a very
delicate issue and needed subtle handling by keeping a balance in all
aspects of the economy.
Mian Nauman Kabir, who is a senior leader of the
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that if State Bank of
Pakistan brings the markup rate to three percent, it would create
much-needed industrial revolution in the country. He said that
industrialization in the country is a pre-requisite for progress and
in the wake of high markup rate for long-term financing the dream of
industrialization could not be fulfilled.
The LCCI spokesman said that the low markup rate
would also help Pakistani entrepreneurs to cope with post WTO and
Mian Nauman Kabir said that 10 years ago such
measures were taken to help establish industry in the country and now
again there is a need to bring mark up rates down for economic
well-being of Pakistan.