KARACHI: Industrialists called on Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah on Saturday and proposed opening of export oriented industry, which the Sindh government would consider at its meeting on Sunday.
The meeting was attended by a large number of industrialists including Siraj Teli, Muhammad Ali Tabba, Mian Zahid, Javed Bilwani, Zubair Chahya and office bearers of various industrial associations.
“We have proposed that export oriented industry should be opened to honor the orders,” Javed Bilwani said adding, “We told the Chief Minister that the food industry was operating and there have been no complaints; similarly, export sector having better safety compliance standards may also be allowed to open.”
Bilwani said Chief Minister was quite receptive and assured that this proposal would be taken up their meeting on Sunday.
Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) Siraj Teli urged the Chief Minister that industrial sectors having their own labor colonies should be opened. “A system needs to be devised so that economic engine keeps running.” Teli said they had paid their workers for April, but they would not be able to pay them next month of the business was not reopened. He proposed that all tax collection by Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) should be discontinued for four months.
Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Ali Tabba said the export orders had slowed down, therefore businesses having export orders should be facilitated.
Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Khurram Aijaz said a mechanism needed to be framed and communicated to law enforcement agencies, as even essential services such as food and medicine were facing logistics and supply chain problems.
Aijaz informed the meeting that demurrage and detention was the biggest problem facing importers and traders, but the Ministry of Maritime Affairs was quite silent on the issue. “Minister announced on March 26 that demurrage and detention would be waived for 15 days but no notification in this regard had been issued as yet.”
Aijaz informed that Chief Minister had listened to the proposals patiently and assured the business community that these would be taken up at the core committee meeting on Sunday.
Murad Ali Shah that the economy had been adversely impacted due to the pandemic, and was estimated to suffer even more. Shah agreed that government revenues had depleted due to the lockdown of industries and Customs.
Chief Minister said that lockdown would continue till April 14, and if the masses observed this lockdown to the letter and spirit, government might be able to open up gradually.