Businessmen concerned over proposed changes in the Trade Organization Act 2012

Karachi, January 12, 2013 (PPI-OT): Siraj Kassam Teli, Chairman Businessmen Group and Muhammad Haroon Agar, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), expressing concern over proposed changes in the Trade Organization Act 2012, have demanded to take into confidence and create consensus with all the Business and Industrial Community of Pakistan, especially KCCI before making any changes.

They have strongly urged that for the sake of Pakistan’s economy it must be assured that no changes in the said Act are made without consultation of the business and industrial community of Pakistan through their genuine representatives and the true spirit of Trade Organizations Ordinance 2007 must not change in the Trade Organization Act 2012. They have demanded to take all genuine stakeholders on board for due-deliberations on the Trade Organization Act 2012 in especially convened meeting with all the trade bodies of the country.

Siraj Kassam Teli, Chairman Businessmen Group stated that after approval from National Assembly the Trade Organization Act 2012 has been sent to Senate of Pakistan for consensus and approval where by the Chairman of Senate’s Standing Committee on Commerce Senator Ghulam Ali belongs to a particular business group and who himself is a party in this matter, has proposed several amendments in the Trade Organization 2012. He has proposed to convene a joint meeting of Standing Committee of Senate and National Assembly to approve the said Act with consensus. We cannot accept unilateral/ one-sided decisions/amendments by vested interest at all, he said.

Siraj Kassam Teli, Chairman Businessmen Group stated that the Trade Organization Act 2012 and its rules require to be revisited in consultation with the stakeholders owing to controversial new clauses. It has been observed that the Trade Organizations Act 2012 is not at all in the spirit of the Trade Organizations Ordinance 2007 prepared with the consultation of genuine stakeholders across the country.

The prime objective of the Trade Organizations Ordinance 2007 was to curtail/eliminate the fake and bogus associations. He articulated that today the world is a global village and economic power is the name of the game and it is imperative to have correct economic policies to survive in the comity of nations, therefore, it is very important to have genuine representative trade bodies for interaction, resolution, and formulation of right policies with the government.

He focused that the Business and Industrial Community being non-political entity collectively – the genuine stakeholders in the economy of the country, are of the high opinion that the Government must make sure that the Trade Bodies of the Country are represented by genuine stakeholders only.

Siraj Teli recalled that a neutral committee headed by Justice (Retd) Saleem Akhtar of Supreme Court, consulted all stakeholders of the Business and Industrial community of Pakistan. After detailed deliberations and meetings and finally over a period of two years Trade Organization Ordinance (TOO-2007) was promulgated and recommended with consensus.

He further stated that the implementation of TOO-2007, which was long standing demand of the Business and Industrial Community, changed the outdated Trade Ordinance of 1961 through which mushroom growth of many bogus and non-representative trade bodies had taken place.

Implementation of TOO-2007 put an end to the irregularities in the process of registration of trade bodies and had proven the fact that the demand and promulgation of this Ordinance was genuine as it had curtailed through re-registration most of those non representative/ bogus chambers and associations which number came down from 220 to 107 and henceforth corrected the systems of trade bodies to the extent of 75% in blocking the entry of non-representative people.

Haroon Agar, President KCCI stated that owing to importance of Trade Organization Act and reservations of the business and industrial community on the recently passed Trade Organization Act 2012 by National Assembly without consultation of all genuine stakeholders across Pakistan, KCCI has sent letter to the Honourable President of Pakistan and Prime Minister to intervene for taking on board all genuine stakeholders.

Speaker of National Assembly, Chairman Senate along with Chairmen and Members of Standing Committees of National Assembly and Senate on Commerce are also requested for their involvement to remove the apprehensions of the business and industrial community in this regard.

Haroon Agar stated that a delegation of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry headed by Chairman of Businessmen Group Siraj Kassam Teli in the meeting of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Commerce held on 1st December, 2010 at Islamabad proposed amendments of immediate nature for Trade Organizations Ordinance and Rules 2007, and demanded to call broad-based meeting of stakeholders for consideration and due-deliberation of proposed amendments for legislation accordingly.

The Trade Organization Ordinance 2007 (No.XXXI OF 2007) could not be validated and recently National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Commerce presented the Trade Organization Act 2012 which has been approved and forwarded to Senate of Pakistan for approval with consensus.

While expressing concern he said that we fail to understand during this period the genuine representatives from the business and industrial community were not consulted and draft of said act was neither provided to Trade Bodies nor timely uploaded at website after its approval from National Assembly. During this period, the old Ordinance-2007 was given on the website which is really surprising and confusing as to why and for what reason the new Act was avoided to upload at website? Why after such a long gap the newly passed Act was put on the website and what were the ulterior motives for the same? he questioned.

For more information, contact:
M. Shafiq Baig
Public Relations Officer
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road,
Shahrah-e-Liaquat, Karachi-74000
Tel: +9221 9921 8001 -09
Fax: +9221 9921 8010
Email: pro@kcci.com.pk, pro2@kcci.com.pk
Website: http://www.kcci.com.pk/

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