- CAP Consumers Protection Department providing immediate relief to consumers
- Converting power sector to solar and other alternative resources essential
Interview with Mr. Kaukab Iqbal — Founding Chairman, Consumers Association of Pakistan
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself?
Kaukab Iqbal: I am founding Chairman of Consumers Association of Pakistan, one of the largest NGO of Pakistan working for providing awareness among masses regarding Consumers rights and their Protection. Since its inception on 13th September 2003 I am trying to bring all Pakistanis under the umbrella of Consumer Association of Pakistan for developing effective Consumers’ culture.
I feel proud to inform you that due to untiring efforts and struggle we have got a great success in the greater interest of consumers by enforcement of Consumers Protection Act 2014 nationwide. After enactment of Consumer Protection Act 2014, consumers are enjoying more liberty to protect their rights as Consumers’ Courts are also working for providing immediate relief to consumers in all provinces.
To encourage consumers-friendly business environment, CAP organises Consumer Choice Awards every year, which has become most prestigious award for business community and industrial sector who do their best keeping in view consumers’ choice.
In recognition of my services, now I have been appointed as Advisor to Governor Sindh for Consumers’ Protection, which is great honour for me. Besides these achievements, CAP is recognised by:
- UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation).
- USAID (United States Agency for International Development).
- GWP (Global Water Partnership).
- WHO (World Health Organisation).
- EU (European Union Commission).
- CI (Consumers International Global Federation).
- AAPR (Association for Airline Passengers’ Rights USA).
- PNAC (Pakistan National Accreditation Council).
- PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority).
- OGRA (Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority).
- CCP (Competition Commission of Pakistan).
- PSQCA (Pakistan’s Standard & Quality Control Authority).
- CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).
- PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority).
- Wafaqi Mohtasib Office.
- KATI (Korangi Association of Trade & Industries).
- State Bank of Pakistan.
In view of the above one can easily analyse the effective role of CAP and my working for Pakistani consumers as well as around the world.
PAGE: What is your take on investment in real estate sector?
Kaukab Iqbal: Like other sectors, real estate sector is in real trouble. Position has worsened when heavy taxes have been imposed on buying and selling of properties It was the only sector left for small medium and large scale investments but now all investment activities have been stopped and people are hesitating to invest in real estate sector.
PAGE: How would you comment on banking sector of Pakistan?
Kaukab Iqbal: Pakistani banking sector playing a vital and significant role in financial sector in order to cater the needs of business and industries. As it constitutes around 74% of the financial sectors’ assets and comprises 55% of GDP. Banking sector in Pakistan has been facing challenges due to inclusion of Islamic Financing as well as rapid technological advancements in shape of digital and branchless bank.
In my view, Pakistani banking sector has strong potential for meeting the requirements of consumers/clients. Through courtesy of CAP Consumers Protection Department has already been established in State Bank of Pakistan for providing immediate relief to consumers as well as redressal of their grievances.
PAGE: What is your standpoint on the power sector of Pakistan?
Kaukab Iqbal: Pakistan has been facing acute shortage of diesel, petrol and other resources of energy, due to this Pakistan is facing extreme crises of energy. Past governments over the years could not plan to cater the needs of common man with respect to petrol, diesel, gas, electricity, and others energy resources. Now our energy and petroleum bills have reached to alarming stage as billions of dollars are being paid for meeting fuels requirements.
Actually this situation is the outcome of notorious agreements between IPPs (Independent Power Producers) and previous governments with malicious intentions and without keeping in view greater national interest.
Now whole nation is facing worst and unbearable situation because position has now become more worsen with the devaluation of Pakistani rupee and increase in oil prices in the global market. Now it is need of the hour that strict action should be taken to save the energy and shift immediately to alternative energy resources and convert our power sector to solar and other alternative resources which are very cheap and abundantly available in our country.
PAGE: What is your perspective about the performance of Mutual Funds?
Kaukab Iqbal: Mutual Funds market is continuously facing depleting foreign exchange reserves, devaluation of Pak rupee, mounting current account deficit, day to day increase in external & internal debt, constant political and economic instability and unrest plus higher inflationary trend. These are the symptoms which are affecting the confidence of the investors in Mutual Funds.
Although in my opinion present market has a huge potential for growth of Mutual Fund industry despite the fact present financial crises curbed the growth due to which economy and financial market drastically decline.