ICCI calls for duty free import of furniture machinery to promote exports



ISLAMABAD – Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Pakistan has a great potential to promote the export of furniture products as the trained and skilled manpower to manufacture high quality furniture products is already available in Pakistan.

However, due to the lack of modern machinery, the furniture industry has not yet developed up to its full potential, while China is far ahead of Pakistan due to modern machinery.

Therefore, he called upon the government to allow duty free import of furniture machinery so that this industry can grow to its full potential and play a more effective role in boosting exports and stabilizing the economy. He was addressing as chief guest at the oath taking ceremony of Furniture Market Trade Unions, Golra More, Islamabad.

Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI, Ajmal Baloch President All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran, Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi former President ICCI, Khalid Chaudhry former SVP ICCI, Taj Abbasi President All Pakistan Furniture Association and Zahid Hussain Chairman, Ch. Irfan, Akhtar Abbasi and others were also present at the occasion.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan emphasized that SBP should issue loans on easy terms for the furniture sector business community to enable this industry to flourish and become competitive in the international market. He appealed to the Chairman CDA Amir Ali Ahmed to take immediate steps for resolving the key issues including of Golra Furniture Market including street lights and parking facility.

Ajmal Baloch, President, All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran said that since the establishment of MCI, there has been no development works in the markets in the last four years due to which the condition of markets has deteriorated. He said that with the sunset and spread of darkness in Golra Market, incidents start happening in the evening while the street lights and parking department have come under the custody of CDA and hoped that CDA would address these issues.

The newly elected President of Golra Market Trade Union Farhan Khan and Secretary General Sheikh Kashif speaking at the occasion, thanked the guests and said that Golra Market is within the boundaries of Islamabad but CDA and MCI are not ready to accept it. Due to this situation, the problems of the market are increasing. He demanded that Golra Market be considered a part of the federal capital and CDA should start development works in the market.

All Pakistan Furniture Association President Taj Abbasi and Chairman Zahid Hussain said that the ICCI President was well aware of the problems of the furniture industry and hoped that he would play an active role in resolving them. They said that there was an urgent need for a furniture mart in Islamabad so CDA should provide land for it. They assured Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan that full cooperation would be extended to the Chamber for organizing Furniture Expo. They expressed concern over the rising prices of foam and demanded that the government should take notice of its cartel to save people from high inflation. They further said that the imposition of sales tax on furniture showrooms with a covered area of one thousand square yards would be an injustice so the government should avoid it.

At this occasion, ICCI President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan administered oath to the newly elected Office Bearers of Furniture Market Trade Union. Mumtaz Hussain was elected as the Patron-in-Chief, Muhammad Wali Khan Chairman, Sabir Awan Group Leader, Farhan Khan President, Rana Mujahid Senior Vice President, Haji Ijaz Vice President, Sheikh Kashif General Secretary, Muhammad Imran Joint Secretary, Muhammad Ahmed Information Secretary and Nisar Khan as Finance Secretary.