Islamabad: Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Speaker KPK has asked the business community of Islamabad to explore and capitalize on the tourism potential in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the province offers tremendous opportunities of investment in tourism and many other sectors. He was addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI).
Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani said that ICCI should come up with a proposal for investment in KPK and assured that he would fully support them in exploring JVs and investment in his province. He said that there were many avenues of investment for the business community on public private partnership basis in KPK that should be exploited for business promotion. He said that the government’s drive against smuggling was producing positive results as it has helped the local industry to get a boost. He also briefed the business community about religious tourism potential in KPK as it possessed many historical places for the followers of various religions. He termed the business community as the backbone of the economy and the government was working for creating more conducive environment for them. He fully endorsed the ICCI proposal for a 2 percent fixed tax for traders in the coming budget that would broaden the tax base and improve tax revenue of the country.
Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that many investors of the federal capital were interested to invest in tourism, hospitality and other sectors in KPK and stressed that the provincial government should focus on more conducive policies to attract more investors. He said that tourism was capital-intensive investment with a 7 to 10 years payback period, therefore, the government should cut duties and taxes on the import of items and equipment used in tourism-related sectors including hotel industry to attract more investment in this sector. He said that Pakistan has the export potential of up to USD 200 billion that could be realized by focusing on facilitation and better promotion of export-oriented industries.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that the government should introduce a 2 percent fixed tax for traders in the coming budget that would expand the tax base and increase tax revenue of the country. He said that the large number of taxes and complicated taxation system were major hurdles in enhancing tax revenue and reducing the number of taxes with rationalization of tax rates should be the way forward for the government to improve tax revenue.
Fatma Azim Senior Vice President, Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI, Mehboob Ahmed Khan, Rana Qaiser Shehzad, Aslam Khokhar, Ashraf Farzand, Khalid Chaudhry and others also shared ideas with Speaker KPK on matters of economic interest including protection of national heritage in KPK.