President Dr Arif Alvi Tuesday urged the business community to create awareness and provide guidance to the women, youth as well as differently-abled persons on government’s welfare initiatives to help achieve the desired objectives.
The president, addressing the “Heroes of Gujranwala” award ceremony to honor the services of businessmen, academia, and other important personalities who contributed to the uplift of the city, said the government had allocated Rs 100 billion for Kamyab Jawan Program to support the SME sector which would ultimately provide employment opportunities.

He said it was essential for the government to formulate policies in collaboration with the private sector for the latter being a major job provider.

The president said owing to lack of awareness, the amount specified by the banks for business loans to women remained under-utilized. He said the business sector could support the women to prepare loan feasibility to put them on the track of financial independence.

Similarly, he said the differently-abled persons could also be brought into the mainstream by providing them jobs and skill training which would ensure their financial protection.

Arif Alvi, who earlier distributed awards among the nominees, said he as well as First Lady Samina Alvi had been striving for the rights of the differently-abled persons as it was the social responsibility to provide them opportunities through their skill development.
The president lauded the contribution of the businessmen as well as other segments in Gujranwala in philanthropy services and for the national economic development.

He said Pakistan had a unique position vis-à-vis per capita charity as the philanthropists also lent a helping hand to the government for the uplift of the poor people.

He recalled that the countries had achieved economic stability having learned from Pakistan’s economic policies.

He told the gathering that there had been a tendency of misuse of tax money and urged the people to be extra cautious to safeguard their interests.

Highlighting the strengths of Pakistan, he mentioned the hosting of millions of refugees, utmost discipline, and pro-poor services during the COVID pandemic. This is a strong Pakistan and Gujranwala is like a pillar having produced many philanthropists, he added.

The president said the country’s macroeconomic indicators, as well as debt situation, were moving on a positive trajectory; however, he called for enhancing the country’s exports.

He also advised the businessmen to put more focus on value addition and invest more in information technology along with the traditional industry.

President of Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry Umar Ashraf Mughal said Gujranwala had been contributing to the country’s exports and economic development. The city was a hub of SMEs and the eighth largest tax-paying city.

He spoke highly of the government’s constant engagement and consultation with the business sector. He thanked the government for approving mega projects for the city including motorways, industrial estate, and hospitals.

Diplomats of different countries, members of the Gujranwala business community, philanthropists, and people from multiple walks of life attended the awards ceremony.
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