KARACHI: Muhammad Younus Dagha, Minister of Finance, Planning & Development, and Revenue, has reiterated his commitment to resolving the challenges faced by industrialists in the North Karachi Industrial Area. During a meeting, he announced the formation of a committee that will specifically focus on addressing priority issues encountered by businesses in Karachi’s industrial zones.

The Minister of Industries emphasized the urgency of resolving these concerns and stated that the committee, comprising representatives from all zones, will diligently work to formulate recommendations. These recommendations will be submitted to both provincial and federal authorities for review and necessary action. The committee, scheduled to convene at both provincial and federal levels, will collaborate with the regional industrial sectors, ensuring effective communication of their concerns to the relevant governmental bodies. In addition to addressing immediate issues, the committee will also collaborate on industrial reforms and facilitate the provision of funds from provincial and federal governments.

This proactive step by Minister Yunus Dagha signifies a collective effort to strengthen the industrial landscape in North Karachi. It reflects a dedication to fostering a supportive environment for local businesses, promoting growth, and ensuring the prosperity of the industrial community. Stay tuned for further updates on this significant development.

Minister Dagha expressed these views while addressing a gathering during a visit to the North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry. The meeting was attended by a large number of members, including NKATI President Faisal Moiz Khan, Senior Vice President Shabbir Ismail, Vice President Naeem Haider, CEO NKIDMC Syed Yunus Khamisani, Sadiq Mohammed, Tariq Rashid, Akhtar Ismail, and others.

The Minister of Industries also stated that he will actively participate in arranging a meeting with the Water Board to address the water shortage in the North Karachi Industrial Area. He emphasized the significance of communication with both provincial and federal governments regarding funds, ensuring infrastructure improvements, and proper maintenance. Additionally, he highlighted his commitment to ensuring a reliable gas supply in line with the industry’s demands.

Faisal Moiz Khan, President of NKATI, welcomed the Minister of Industry and Commerce and highlighted the challenges faced by industrialists in the area. He mentioned that the gas tariff has been increased from 1100 rupees per MMBTU to 2100 rupees per MMBTU, while 2400 rupees have been set for captive power plants.

In the North Karachi Industrial Area, there are 14 industries on captive and 5000 processing industries. However, in this situation, how will industries thrive? Drawing the Minister of Industry’s attention, Faisal pointed out the severe water scarcity in the North Karachi Industrial Area, stating that textile and dyeing industries cannot fulfil their export orders.

‘‘This is the reason why, after Sialkot, Pakistan’s second-largest Special Economic Zone, North Karachi Industrial Area, is losing its competitiveness against other countries, including Bangladesh, due to excessive costs. This is a cause for concern as it diminishes the ability to compete with other countries.’’

President NKATI requested financial assistance for garments and SMEs to reduce their costs and improve their competitiveness. He further stated that the land of the Combined Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) belongs to the jurisdiction of the North Karachi Industrial Area, and it should only be allocated to North Karachi Industrial Area instead of F.B. Area.

He also requested taking note of harassment by institutions such as EOBI, SESSI, SBCA, and others, providing land for the establishment of hospitals, and resolving sewage issues.