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Lahore chamber plans to establish international university, eye hospital

Oct 03 - 09, 2005

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 city.

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 serve them.

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 SAFTA regimes.

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.


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