Industry status sought for retail sector

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi on Tuesday said the State bank of Pakistan and the Finance ministry should give industry status to the retail sector of the country to help the sector grow, especially young entrepreneurs involved in it.

He was speaking at an expo organised by the Chainstore Association of Pakistan (CAP).

Afridi observed that the retail sector had performed well during Covid-19, supporting the government in a difficult time for its economy. “The Covid was the difficult time for the governments across the world, but the CAP supported a lot to the government in the crisis,” he added.

He also asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to give some relief to the sector in taxation, emphasising that a documented sector should be incentivised to encourage undocumented ones to document them and help expand the tax base.

The deputy chairman apprised that the government’s first priority was revival of the economy and controlling the inflation to pass relief to the public.

Afridi asked stakeholders to promote the retail sector by making new investments, urging them to promote the e-commerce both for local and international business. He was of the view that an industry could not develop and sustain without retail shops and an organised retail sector.

The Senate official stated that many industries had shut down due to global energy crisis, and the textile sector got a big hit in Pakistan. “The industry has come out of Covid-19, but now facing the energy crisis”.

CAP chairman Tariq Mehboob added that political instability had become a challenge for the country’s economy after Covid-19. He proposed the government to design a long-term policy (at least ten years) for the economy irrespective of any ruling party. He claimed that the FBR was raiding at the retailers who had already installed point of sales (POS). “This has given a wrong message to the businesses who are working honestly,” Mehboob said.