KARACHI: Chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), Siddiqueul Farooq has said that continuity of constitution and democracy were the only solution to the ills being faced by Pakistan.
Peace, political stability and energy crisis are amongst top priorities of the present government as without these, economic progress and prosperity cannot be ensured, he added.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Siddique ul Farooq stated that the government has taken bold and right decisions for sternly dealing with the menace of terrorism and it was heartening to note that for the very first time in the history of Pakistan, the entire nation stands united and all political parties were on same page after the tragic Peshawar School incident.
President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, Vice President KCCI, Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan and KCCI Managing Committee members attended the meeting.
Referring to various agreements with China, Siddique ul Farooq informed that many energy-related projects were likely to commence in the month of March and April next year which, upon their completion in two to three years, would surely help in minimizing the grievances being faced by the nation due to energy crisis.
Chairman ETPB also mentioned a number of initiatives undertaken by him after assuming charge of ETPB as its Chairman with a vision to improve functioning of the Board, of which his first and foremost priority was to effectively deal with massive corruption. ETPB has been focusing on facilitating Sikh and Hindu pilgrims during their visits to various holy places in Pakistan with a view to promote the positive image of Pakistan.
Another serious issue being faced by the ETPB was the encroachments on ETPB lands in Sindh, Siddiqueul Farooq noted, adding that in this regard, all political parties of Sindh will be approached for assistance.
After thoroughly listening to the problems being faced by the business community of Karachi, Siddique assured to bring various issues to the notice of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and others.
Earlier, while welcoming the Chairman ETPB, President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra sought Siddique ul Farooq’s assistance in convincing the government to prioritize economic issues as well. “Although it is very important to give top priority to the menace of terrorism in the prevailing circumstances, but the government must not ignore the economic crisis and issues affecting business and industrial activities which include poor taxation policies, deteriorating law and order situation and dilapidated infrastructure etc.”, he added.
Iftikhar Vohra said that Karachi Chamber fully supports all efforts being made by the government to completely eradicate the menace of terrorism from Pakistan but during this quest for peace, the government must also make sure that the economy stays afloat as the present economic crisis have triggered a wave of uncertainty amongst business circles.
Speaking on the occasion, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi pointed out that Karachi city solely contributes a massive chunk of more than 1400 billion rupees revenue to the national exchequer but in return, not even 14 billion rupees were being spent on development of infrastructure. “Karachi city’s infrastructure was in a dreadful state, which require immediate attention as it was resulting in giving severe losses to businessmen and industrialists”, he added.
Commenting on poor law and order situation of Karachi, Kasumbi mentioned that all criminal activities in Karachi city were being carried out with the help of illegal SIMs. KCCI has been demanding complete shutdown of all prepaid SIMs and these SIMs must be reissued to postal addresses of subscribers as per CNIC through courier services.