KARACHI:The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Site Association of Industry (SAI) have agreed to initiate a massive campaign in the social and mainstream media in which the overall pathetic state of the infrastructure in Site industrial zone will be highlighted and also the failure of both, the federal and provincial governments, to provide any kind of relief in this regard.
At a meeting during the visit of SAI delegation to KCCI, President KCCI M Shariq Vohra and President SAI Abdul Hadi consented to film and disseminate short video clippings of all the broken roads, sewerage lines and other infrastructure issues being suffered by the business and industrial community of the oldest and largest industrial zone of the city as well as other industrial areas of Karachi where industrial units continue to operate in an extremely unfavorable environment.
The meeting was also attended by Vice President KCCI Shamsul Islam Khan, Senior Vice President SAI Riazuddin, Vice President SAI Abdul Kadir Bilwani, former President SAI Suleman Chawla and other members of SAI delegation along with KCCI Managing Committee Members.
President KCCI Shariq Vohra said, “Although assurances have been given from time to time by the federal and provincial governments but none of them have taken any practical steps to provide relief to perturbed business and industrial community of Site area except just lip service.”
“We have attended many meetings at the provincial and federal levels but all these meetings proved to be a futile exercise, which leaves no other option for us but to go for highlighting this serious issue in the media so that the world could see how awful the infrastructure has become in a city which is source of bread and butter for the entire country. We hope this would help us in urging the government to realize the gravity of the situation and accordingly take measures on war footing to provide relief to perturbed businessmen and industrialists of this particular area as the situation in Site area was too terrible as compared to other industrial zones of the city”, he said, adding that this campaign in social and mainstream media was not only being fully supported by industrial town associations but also by majority of sector-specific trade associations.
President KCCI urged all industrial town associations of the city to unite under KCCI’s platform so that an effective plan of action could be devised in consultation with all stakeholders for dealing with the infrastructure disaster being suffered by Karachi city. “It is a matter of grave concern that although the Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a package of Rs11,00 billion for infrastructure development of Karachi few months ago but no serious work has been done so far and it appears that this huge amount just vanished without being allocated or disbursed which is really worrisome for Karachiites who are losing their patience and faith on both, the federal and provincial governments.”
He stressed that collective efforts on a more aggressive note were desperately needed for dealing with the infrastructure destruction in Site area where commuting even on a jeep has become a nightmare nowadays due to constant negligence.
Speaking on the occasion, President SAI Abdul Hadi said, “The federal and provincial governments, instead of taking serious notice of the issues, are treating us like a football as whenever we approach the federal government for assistance, they forward us to provincial government and when we knock the doors of provincial government, they forward us to the federal government which intensifies the hardships for business and industrial community as we remain totally stranded and nobody comes forward to rescue us.”
Agreeing to President KCCI’s suggestion to unite under KCCI’s platform, President SAI suggested that instead of taking up so many issues simultaneously, the strategy should be to only take up the infrastructure and gas shortages issues being suffered by industries in Site area. “These are the two most pressing issues that require attention, hence, we must stay focused on these two only and fight for getting them resolved at the earliest which, if achieved, would surely be a big achievement for us.”
He said that the general industry was subjected to an enhanced gas tariff rate of Rs1054 per MMBTU with an assurance that they will get uninterrupted gas supply with adequate gas pressure but this was not happening at all in Site area where, SAI has been receiving complaints everyday about low gas pressure in many industrial units, resulting in terribly affecting production activities. “We have the capability and expertise to enhance the exports beyond anyone’s expectation and play our role in the economic prosperity of the country but this prosperity simply cannot be achieved until the utility services are provided at competitive rates.”
Abdul Hadi also appreciated President KCCI’s strategy to take all industrial town associations on board which would surely help in diluting a general misconception that KCCI only pays attention to traders’ issues which was not factual as the Chamber, being the mother of all trade associations, has been paying equal attention of the issues being faced by industrialists as well.
While endorsing President KCCI’s idea, former President SAI Suleman Chawla informed that SAI has already started work on gathering footages of poor state of infrastructure in Site Area and work was almost at final stage which will soon be shared with KCCI.