Business leaders appeal to Prime Minister to support Karachi’s industry and business and industrial community will give a vibrant manufacturing sector, more employment, more revenue to national exchequer

Karachi, February 24, 2016 (PPI-OT):The leadership of Businessmen Group and office bearers of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), while commenting on recent media reports with regards to the forthcoming meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI) and its agenda pertaining to RLNG and Article 158 of the Constitution, opined that the Article 158 is very clear and any new interpretation to this would be disastrous for the federation as this three liner article clearly states that it is the prerogative of gas usage of the province where it is being explored.

In a joint statement, Chairman BMG and former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairmen BMG and Former Presidents KCCI Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala, Haroon Farooki and Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan and Vice President KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif pointed that Sindh, by grace of Allah, contributes 73 percent of the country’s total gas and it is being subjected to the quota of 29 percent which also includes gas for Balochistan, supplies to Power Houses at Jamshoro and to K-Electric for power generation while the industry of Sindh is left with a meagre amount of gas.

They commented that Karachi, which contributes more than 65 percent in the national revenue, more than 30 percent in terms of exports, and despite being a commercial hub, is subjected to this kind of treatment. “Karachi, with all its law and order and security problems, continues to contribute mega portion in the national economy and the industries of Karachi suffer due to discriminatory attitude by the federal government”, they said, adding that with this kind of share in the national economy, the federal government should have come forward and amended the quota for Sindh as per monetary contribution in the national exchequer.

They felt depressed that instead of appreciation and positive attitude, federal government is trying to reduce what they called ‘unjustified quota’ as according to the true interpretation of Article 158, Sindh should be allowed to use as much gas as it requires. If this attitude would have been adopted, Karachi today would not have security and law and order problems as, many more industries would have come up and the question of unemployment, which is the basic reason behind the menace of terrorism and extremism, would have never arisen, they added.

BMG leadership and KCCI Office Bearers appealed Prime Minister and all four Chief Ministers to try and imagine that if Karachi becomes sick and cannot contribute anymore then what will happen to 65 percent revenue and how will the country run. They pointed out that there are more than 3,000 applications pending at SSGC for new connections for large, small and medium sized units. Even if 10 percent of this number comes into operation, more than 100,000 people would get jobs.

They appealed to CCI members that Article 158 should be discussed in CCI to implement the same in letter and spirit and more gas be provided to Sindh which would encourage industrialization in the province and ensure prosperity for entire Pakistan. They further urged CCI not to compel Sindh province to buy RLNG as according to the same Article of the Constitution, enough gas is being explored in Sindh, of which a very small portion is being utilized. “We do not need RLNG as we are utilizing only 40 percent of what we have available in the province. Let this go to 100 percent and then we would sit down and negotiate any other mode of energy”, they added.

Just to give a comparison, they said that due to scarcity of water in Karachi, the business and industrial community of Karachi is paying five times more in terms of costing for water and every value added export sector desperately needs water which is the prime raw material. Price of KWSB water stood at around Rs240 per thousand gallons while the same quantity of water was being offered at Rs50 only by Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) in Punjab and even in upper Sindh.

“Isn’t this discriminatory, we are suffering and paying out of our nose and becoming incompetent in our own country”. They appealed Prime Minister to support Karachi’s industry and the business and industrial community will pledge to give a vibrant manufacturing sector, more employment, more revenue to the national exchequer and over and above more exports for Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Aamir Hassan
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040