A seminar on “Business Development for Women Entrepreneurs” held at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry in collaboration with the LCCI, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
LCCI Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar, SBP Assistant Chief Manager- Refinance Sara Riaz, Commissioner Inland Revenue RTO II FBR Ayesha Imran Butt, former Parliamentarian Yasmeen Rehman, Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Women Business Development Asia Saail Khan, former LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Former Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, M. Sohail from AppsGenii Technologies were the key speakers while LCCI Executive Committee members Yasir Khursheed, Zeeshan Sohail Malik, Fiaz Haider and a large number of people from various sectors were present on the occasion.
LCCI Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar said that in Pakistan, atmosphere for business women is getting better but still there are lots more efforts required. He said that women are a significant unit of the society. They influence the course of social changes in society. It is a bit unfortunate that our women face severe problems in uplifting their social and economic status. He said that the situation is comparatively better keeping in view early 2000 era as the participation of women in all areas of economic development is being encouraged and promoted. They are entering in all fields of economic development and contributing towards enhancing the pace of economic growth, he added.
Commissioner Inland Revenue Ayesha Imran Butt said that it is all misconception that once you are on radar of FBR then something bad will happen to you or FBR officials will harass. She said that the entire scenario has been changed with the present regime. FBR has access to the data of all citizens through computerized CNIC.
She said the participants that filing income tax return is totally in the benefit of taxpayers. She briefed the participants in detail about how to get registered, who should file returns and the benefits of filing income tax returns.
SBP representative Saira Riaz said that State Bank of Pakistan supports and encourages those banks which are financing the SMEs and women entrepreneurs. She gave detailed presentation about the role of SBP in promotion of Small & Medium Enterprises and women entrepreneurs.
Asia Saail Khan said that the committee was formed with a clear vision of supporting and upscaling women owned businesses. She said that women entrepreneurs are an integral part of any country’s business community. She said that equal and supportive opportunities should be ensured for women.
She informed the participants that this year, her team’s tagline “Women Lift Women,” is a movement which is initially going to spread in Lahore and then all over Pakistan. The objective behind the movement is to encourage home-based women owned businesses to register and formalize their ventures as well as to communicate to women entrepreneurs about the various loan facilities available and also how to file their tax returns, she said.
She said that women can do a lot, it is possible and there are ways to help them navigate the daunting logistics. She acknowledged the support of Ms Saira Riaz from SBP, Ms Ayesha Imran Butt from FBR, Ms Yasmeen Rehman Former parliamentarian for the Women Business Development and “Women Lift Women” movement. She also thanked Mr. Sohail for Social and Digital Media Marketing support.
Yasmeen Rehman said that many of the women entrepreneurs are not aware of the filing income Tax, financing opportunities etc. For them one window operation facility must be initiated where they can be facilitated under one roof.