ONE APPROPRIATE SOLUTION FOR COMMON STAKEHOLDER REPRESENTATION
By Tariq M. Rangoonwala, Chairman ICC Pakistan
Chairman ICC Pakistan
In this era of growing new specializations there is an increased need for common stakeholders to coalesce in order to represent their interests for addressing their new specialized issues and interacting with authorities which make regulations. Clearly the Trade Organization Act although serving its purpose has not kept pace with rapid changes nor the character of new stakeholders in new areas of endeavor. Attempts have been made by authorities to revamp and improve the Trade Organization Act in Pakistan, however, these changes have not yielded any progress nor enabled the established order to substantially accommodate the growth and variances in demand. Recently a group of very highly dedicated technical professionals coalesced under the Societies Act in order to avoid “press ganging”, which is endemic in any established order within the trade organization system. Indeed, the Societies Act is definitely one option available under our statutes and there are other options, which are increasingly being availed and examined in order to avoid coalescing under the Trade Organizations Act.
In my opinion the Trade Organizations Act, the way it is, may continue to evolve as per its established order, as it is serving its purpose whatever the shortcomings. At the same time, the government should examine new legal provisions for common stakeholder representation in view of specialized interests and requirements for capacity building in the context of trade, investment and technology. One may ask as to why alternate structures are required when the Trade Organizations Act and other options already exist. The answer is very simple: Because the established order already has a myriad of commitments in place for the many established constituencies whose interests it represents., It ttherefore, inadvertently becoming a bottleneck thereby precluding new developments, new spheres of enterprise and new common stakeholder interests, especially in a country with a growing population and increased spheres of specific and specialized interests, which require forums for institutionalized policy making interaction.
It is sometimes unavoidable for bottlenecks to be created which then favor only the larger and longstanding interests of the established order, therefore resulting in stifling of change and progress. New professions are generational and are only interested in their specific and specialized fields of endeavor along with common stakeholder capacity building that is relevant to them. They are not interested to engage in issues which are not immediately relevant to their specialized subject.
It is in light of the above that I am a fan of the “Section 21” concept of the Companies Ordinance of Hong Kong and seek its inclusion by the SECP in the Companies Ordinance of Pakistan for grant on a selective basis. I understand that there are other provisions within the Companies Ordinance in Pakistan such as Section 41, Societies Act, AOPs etc. None, however, fulfill the requirement as comprehensively and practically as the Section 21 of the Companies Ordinance of Hong Kong. This provision has a remarkable track-record of success and is worth considering. I have taken this opportunity to reproduce hereunder the text of this law to emphasize the importance of this option based on our experience and its success elsewhere. I hope ICC Pakistan members will support this proposal to become one of our new objectives in the coming year.
COMPANIES ORDINANCE OF HONG KONG
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