Over the past four years, CIPE Pakistan’s technical assistance reached over 100 business associations across the country. This initiative has had significant impact on such organizations, particularly in the area of policy advocacy. Business associations are now relying on advocating change through a consultative process rather than one-on-one lobbying.
In early March this year, CIPE Pakistan facilitated a Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry project that brought together for the first time ever 22 Presidents from leading chambers across Pakistan. Participants overviewed the systematic policy advocacy approach during the conference; and afterward they agreed to work together on the key issue of controlling Pakistan’s Value Added Tax:
The government must not impose VAT without taking the business community into confidence.
Since the President’s conference, the coalition met thrice and developed a strategic plan to convene with legislators. As of this week, they have done exactly that, meeting with key legislators in Rawalpindi (a rare show in Pakistan) and presenting their case with facts.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairperson of National Assembly’s standing committee on Finance said :
The Standing Committee on Finance has agreed to the apprehensions and recommendation of country chambers and traders’ community regarding the proposed Value Added Tax (VAT) has hinted at deferring the VAT bill for one year.
It is encouraging to see that the coalition formed at the President’s Conference continues to grow and mature in its capacities.
A full press report on yesterday’s event is available here: