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October 1, 2018

Siraj Teli advises new incumbents to strive for revalidation of TOO-2007

KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) and Former President Karachi Chamber Siraj Kassam Teli has advised the newly elected Office Bearers of KCCI to focus on convincing the government to revalidate Trade Organizations Ordinance (TOO) 2007 and implement the same in letter and spirit as this was the only Ordinance which had been endorsed by the entire Business and Industrial community of the country. Speaking at the 57th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Chairman BMG stated that in order to unshackle FPCCI from the clutches of Qabza Group and send these unscrupulous elements back to their homes, it was indispensable to abolish the existing TOO-2013 and revalidate TOO-2007 otherwise the genuine representatives of the business and industrial community would remain deprived and continue to protest against FPCCI.

Vice Chairmen BMG & Former Presidents KCCI Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala, Haroon Farooki and Anjum Nisar, Newly elected Office Bearers Junaid Esmail Makda (President), Khurram Shehzad (Senior Vice President) and Asif Sheikh Javaid (Vice President) along with retiring Office Bearers Muffasar Atta Malik (Ex-President), Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak (Ex-SVP), Rehan Hanif (Ex-VP), Former Presidents KCCI AQ Khalil, Haroon Bari, Shamim Ahmed Firpo, KCCI Managing Committee members and a large number of General Body Members attended the AGM.

Siraj Teli advised the newly elected Office Bearers to compile a detailed narration about TOO and submit it to Advisor to Prime Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood with a request to immediately abolish TOO-2013 and revalidate TOO-2007 in order to completely wipeout all wrongdoings done in between 2007 and 2013. “If necessary, any minor changes in TOO-2007 should only be made after consultation with the entire business and industrial community of the country as it was endorsed by them”, he added, and was fairly optimistic that Razzak Dawood would better understand the loopholes in TOO-2013 and take steps to deal with this issue.He said, “We struggled really hard to get Trade Organizations Ordinance 1961 abolished during Musharraf’s regime in 2007 when Humayun Akhtar Khan was the Commerce Minister. At that point in time, TOO-2007 was formulated which was endorsed by all Trade Associations, Chambers and even the FPCCI that resulted in eradicating almost all the fake/ bogus trade bodies whereas around 90 trade associations and 35 Chambers of Commerce were found legal when TOO-2007 was implemented.”

“However, TOO-2007 was sabotaged in between 2007 to 2013 and it was abolished and replaced with TOO-2013 which once again provided bogus trade bodies an opportunity to get registered by paying a mere amount of three to four hundreds thousand only. To deal with this serious issue, KCCI approached the then Commerce Minister Amin Fahim and Chairman of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan, who later on became the Commerce Minister during PML-N’s era. Although assurances were given from time to time but not a single step was taken by anyone to deal with this issue therefore, the newly elected Office Bearers must take up this issue”, he added. Referring to numerous plans highlighted by Junaid Makda for his tenure as President, Siraj Teli gave go ahead to the newly elected Office Bearers for all their future endeavors but advised them to extensively discuss these programs with the Managing Committee with a view to encourage debate, besides bringing their plans to the notice of leadership. Commenting on the Charter of Economy, Siraj Teli said that the Karachi Chamber was the first institution to float the concept of ‘Charter of Economy’ during PPP tenure at a meeting attended by all Chambers of Commerce of the country. After listening to KCCI’s idea, President Zardari directed Saleem Mandviwalla to formulate the proposed Charter of Economy but unfortunately no progress took place. Every government assures to come up with a Charter of Economy and recently Shahbaz Sharif also floated the same idea which was welcomed by Asad Umer. He advised the office bearers to raise voice for Charter of Economy and approach Saleem Mandviwalla for assistance. Under the Charter of Economy, numerous economic policies should be identified and all of them must be not be disturbed and kept intact in all types of circumstances. Commenting on KCCI’s election, he said, “The election results were the outcome of our Public Service which foiled all conspiracies hatched against BMG. They thought that they will easily defeat us in the election the way they defeat their opponents in FPCCI’s election in which more than half of fake/ bogus associations are in their pockets which are used to manipulate FPCCI election but the business and industrial community totally rejected all these elements in KCCI’s Election.”

Siraj Teli said that it was a blessing in disguise as BMG candidates made a lot of efforts, went from pillar to post, felt the pain and struggled really hard to achieve this position. “They must’ve realized now that this seat was not for free, it requires a lot of hard work and determination. Ultimately, the election went in our favor as it reenergized all BMGIANs, further strengthened the Group and clearly indicated BMG’s improved vote bank. He expressed gratitude to general body members and all those individuals who came out to get counted in KCCI’s election, which can be gauged from the fact that BMG candidates secured double votes against their opponents. “A huge margin of almost 1500 votes was recorded in between our last and their top performing candidate which is only due to overwhelming support of KCCI’s General Body and all those who came out to get counted and endorse BMG’s services since last 20 years”, he said, adding that largest turnout of 58 percent was witnessed from Jodia Bazaar whereas voters’ turnout from other markets in different localities was in range of 35 to 40 percent. He further advised the newly elected Office Bearers and Managing Committee members to maintain discipline which is the first step on the road to success. Chairman BMG also congratulated retiring Office Bearers Muffasar Atta Malik, Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak and Rehan Hanif who maintained the tradition of performing better as compared to previous Office Bearers and successfully completed their tenure, besides expecting the same kind of deliverance from the new incumbents under BMG’s policy of Public Service.

Vice Chairman BMG & Former President KCCI Zubair Motiwala, while referring to KCCI’s election held after a lapse of 11 years, said that the overwhelming results in favor of BMG candidates clearly indicated that majority of the business community has accepted and appreciates the leadership of Siraj Kassam Teli. “It is not just the victory of BMG but the victory of all members of the business community of Karachi who deserved to be appreciated”, he added. He pointed out that Karachi contributes a huge share of more than 65 percent revenue to the national exchequer and according to recent figures, this city contributes around 91 percent revenue to the provincial kitty. “Unfortunately, city government hardly receives Rs8 billion which has to be enhanced”, he stressed and advised the Office Bearers to fight for the rights of Karachi and strongly demand at least half of the said 91 percent in order to improve the city’s dilapidated infrastructure.

Vice Chairman BMG & Former President KCCI Haroon Farooki congratulated all BMGIANs and General Body Members on their victory in KCCI’s Election which became possible because of the hard work, dedication, sincerity and truthfulness of all BMGIANs. Appreciating the agenda items for 2018-19 formulated by the newly elected President, he advised Junaid Makda to come up with a detailed strategy on how prioritize these irritants as all these issues and irritants cannot be simultaneously taken up. He stressed that the government will have to be urged to stop and come out of adhocism and devise legislations. It is heartening to note that Finance Minister Asad Umer and PM’s Advisor Razzak Dawood have recently announced that all policies including Taxation, Tariff, Industrial, Trade, Textile and other policies will be implemented for a period of 3 to 5 years.

Vice Chairman BMG & Former President KCCI Anjum Nisar paid glowing tribute to outgoing Office Bearers for smoothly carrying out KCCI’s affairs in a professional manner under the presidency of Muffasar Atta Malik. Keeping in view the determination exhibited by Junaid Esmail Makda from time to time, he was fairly optimistic that Junaid Makda will certainly make extraordinary efforts to resolve the issues being faced by the business and industrial community. The newly elected President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, in his speech, highlighted detailed agenda for his tenure as President and assured to make all out efforts to get numerous issues resolved which were being suffered by the business and industrial community since long. He pointed out that they will strive really hard to exert pressure on the government so that Charter of Economy could be introduced and in letter and spirit. “We will also pay special attention to FBR related taxation issues, particularly those which were brought to our notice by KCCI members during our election campaign. The SRO culture at FBR has to be stopped and FBR officials and its Chairman should not be authorized to issue any SRO. He demanded from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to fulfil his commitment pertaining to giving representation to KCCI in SRB through legislation. “We also will highlight the high cost of doing business and infrastructure problems of Karachi, besides focusing on exploring ways and means to enhance regional trade and suggest measures for improving the existing FTAs and PTAs with friendly countries”, he said, adding that more of such trade agreements with countries around the world were required in order to deal with descending exports. He was of the opinion that as judiciary, national and executive security are three pillars, the business community was the fourth pillar therefore, the federal and provincial governments must legislate to explain KCCI’s role and allocate seats in Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies for the business community. “We will also bring reforms at KCCI, strive to take over the management control of KCCI’s hospital, establish the first-ever University of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry and revitalize more than 100 international MoUs inked by KCCI”, he said, “We will also raise strong voice against rising street crimes all over the city.”

Retiring President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik highlighted major achievements during his tenure and appreciated the leadership for providing him the opportunity to serve business and industrial community from KCCI’s platform.