Lahore: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said new rules framed to create chambers for women, small traders and cottage industry should be flexible enough to attract the business community.
Some clauses in the Trade Organisation Bill 2013 approved by the joint committee of National Assembly and Senate Standing Committees on Commerce recently will only benefit the business community if it is widely accepted, it said.
The current set of rules may prove unappealing for majority of businessmen leaving the whole exercise counterproductive, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
The legislation for setting up business chambers in every district of the country will only benefit millions of small traders and business women if conditions are relaxed, he said.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that condition of 150 members for a chamber and 100 members for women’s chambers having a valid National Tax Number would be difficult to meet in some small districts. He said that majority of businesswomen work from homes with no exposure, minimum opportunities and dependence on middlemen. They don’t possess NTNs and there is less likelihood that many would get one to secure membership in a chamber.
Similarly, many in the trading community, which are already weary of FBR’s highhandedness, will find option to join chambers of small traders on the cost of exposure to tax authorities unpleasant, he said.Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that existing chambers are commerce are dominated by certain groups serving the interests of some medium and large enterprises with small traders having no voice.
It is an open secret that not a single chamber conducts an election but rely on selection procedure which is a cause of heartburn among many legitimate businessmen.