Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that reforms like establishment of commercial courts are few of the many which the government is committed to deliver in line with its vision.

Talking to a delegation of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), he said that the measures taken by the government in collaboration with the Lahore High Court are a giant leap towards making the business environment conducive for trade and economic activities. He said that this initiative will guarantee and ensure that investment of the business community in Punjab is secure.

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He said that the Commercial Court Ordinance, 2021 will ensure expeditious disposal of claims arising from commercial transactions by introducing timeframe for decision of suits, e-filing of pleadings and limited number of adjournments.

Also speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that the promulgation of Commercial Courts Ordinance 2021 can be termed as a milestone initiative towards providing speedy and affordable justice to the business community. He said that the legal experts involved in preparing this ordinance deserve special appreciation for keeping in view the challenges and complexities of modern business requirements.

The LCCI president said, “We need to understand that efficient contract enforcement is essential to economic development and sustained growth. Overall, enhancing the efficiency of the judicial system can improve the business climate, foster innovation, attract foreign direct investment and secure tax revenues etc.”

He said that the establishment of commercial courts under this ordinance will also contribute greatly in improving the doing business ranking of Pakistan because these arrangements will directly influence one of its factors that is called ‘Enforcing Contracts’.

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Misbah said that economies with a more efficient judiciary, in which courts can effectively enforce contractual obligations, have more developed credit markets and a higher level of development overall. He said that Pakistan’s present ranking of Doing Business is 108th while our country ranks at 156 on the indicator of Enforcing Contracts. According to the World Bank Doing Business Index, it takes around 1,025 days to resolve a commercial dispute in Pakistan as compared to 164 days in Singapore, which bags the top position in this indicator.

The LCCI president hoped that the initiation of the commercial courts would create tremendous ease for the business community by providing them a platform for prompt resolution of their commercial disputes.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2021.

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