The business community will have to play a lead role by participating in all the affairs of the government as they know the ground realities and face all types of issues, said Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla.

During a meeting held at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Saturday, Mandviwalla said that it was totally incorrect that the Sindh government has been sitting idle for the last 12 years as various steps have been taken to improve the infrastructure of Karachi.

“However, the situation was not 100% therefore, the business community should join hands with the Sindh government under public-private partnership to improve the infrastructure of Site area and other industrial zones,” he added.

Responding to concerns of the business community regarding the issues being faced due to sales tax on services, Mandviwalla assured he would summon the Federal Board of Revenue chairman and SRB chairman to discuss and resolve this matter.

He further pointed out that he received applications from all over the country from businessmen who have been victimised by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which should not be allowed to take action against the business community as the businessmen and industrialists were already dealing with other departments including the FBR, FIA, SECP, and others.

“The activities of chambers should not remain confined to budget proposals and economic policies only but they must also participate in all meetings and political activities as nobody knows the ground realities better than the business community and it was these businessmen who go through all kinds of troubles due to poor policies,” he stressed.

Speaking on the occasion, Businessmen Group Chairman Zubair Motiwala, while highlighting the miseries and hardships being faced by the business community, stated that this was not just an issue of site area but the state of infrastructure in all industrial zones was awful.

“To improve the infrastructure of site area, PC-1 has already been approved and an amount of Rs1 billion was allocated for construction of 23 roads but to date, the development work has not started,” he remarked.

While appreciating the release of refund claims through the FASTER system, he said that no matter how efficient the system was, refunds of Rs170 billion would remain stuck up, creating a severe liquidity crunch for the exporters.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2021.

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