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Representation of women in trade bodies to be increased

PESHAWAR, Feb 27: Women entrepreneurs will get maximum representation in national and local chambers and trade bodies to be licensed under the Trade Organisations Ordinance, 2006.

Officials involved in formulating the new ordinance, which will replace the Trade Organizations Ordinance, 1961, said the new legislation, for the first time, offered greater representation to women.

Under the draft Trade Organisations Rules, 2007, they said, a women’s chamber of commerce and industry would be established to represent women entrepreneurs in any trade, industry or service.

As per the draft rules, territorial jurisdiction of a women’s chamber will be a province, however, the federal government may grant license to more than one chamber in a province if the proposal for such a body meets prescribed conditions.

Likewise, the federal government may also grant license to a chamber in Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Northern Areas or Federally Administered Tribal Areas if such a proposal is supported by a minimum of 100 women entrepreneurs in the respective area.

Officials said the idea behind the formation of chambers was to represent interests of women entrepreneurs in every field.

Apart from allowing establishment of separate chambers, women entrepreneurs will also get share in offices of prime chambers.

Of seven seats of vice-presidents of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, one will be reserved for women. Likewise, of 18 minimum seats of the executive committee of a prime chamber, three will be reserved for women.

The officials said the federal government had promulgated the Trade Organisations Ordinance, 2006, in December last and the draft rules for enforcing the new legislation had been circulated among all stakeholders at the beginning of the current month.

The draft rules were discussed at a meeting held in Islamabad on Feb 23, where representatives of the business community expressed reservations over some clauses of the rules.

The officials said the government was expected to finalise the rules following a couple of more meetings to be held soon.

Source: Dawn


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