President KCCI underscores need to simplify procedures

KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan has urged the government to take concrete steps for simplifying the cumbersome procedures of starting a business and strategies should be defined and effectively implemented in such a manner that anyone looking forward to set up a business succeeds in doing so within a day or two as being done in many countries around the world.

While sharing his opinion at the third meeting of the steering committee on Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative (PRMI) via video link, President KCCI requested the government to look for ways and means to reduce the number of departments as excessive departments create hurdles in way of simplifying procedures. In this regard, the policymakers must look into the possibility of providing one-window facility which, if provided, would certainly encourage a lot of investors to come forward and invest in numerous sectors of the Pakistani market that offers lucrative opportunities, he added.

He was of the opinion that setting up a business was a really cumbersome procedure in Pakistan as it takes a lot of time to seek approval and fulfill the documentation procedures whereas the widespread corruption in all the government departments where officials fearlessly demand huge bribes to give approval, was the biggest hurdle in way of simplifying the procedures for starting a business.

He was of the opinion that as Karachi Chamber better understands the business infrastructure, therefore a think tank should be established with participation of relevant stakeholders including Karachi Chamber of Commerce, which was in a perfect position to give valuable inputs after evaluating the ground realities.

He underscored that all obsolete pre-partition legislations like the labor law should be reviewed and upgraded according to the modern needs. The anomalies and complexities in the current legislation system should also be removed making it easy and comprehendible.

Agha Shahab was of the opinion that in order to promote trade and commerce, it was really essential to ensure access to resources, finances, grants and venture capital. “We need to promote business innovation ecosystem for growth and prosperity while steps must also be taken to develop digital infrastructure for digital transformation. Businesses and industries need government’s consultation on concessionary policies”, he added.

He said that the government also must also look into the possibility of establishing incubators in close vicinity of industrial zones to promote entrepreneurship and startups while healthy institutions are really critical for sustainable economic growth and genuine economic development.

It was a very different world now after the outbreak of COVID-19 and every country around the world was exploring ways and means to encourage business and investment activities so that the economies could stay afloat whereas in Pakistan, the complex procedures and laws are being in such a manner that these result in promoting corruption, he added.

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