KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Siraj Kassam Teli, while referring to his meeting with Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah at CM House on Monday, warmly welcomed all out efforts being made by the Chief Minister to contain spread of coronavirus and said that the entire business & industrial community fully supports Sindh government’s lockdown strategy which is really crucial and need of the hour as nothing was more important than saving lives of the masses from the life-threatening disease caused by coronavirus.
Chief Minister Sindh and Chairman BMG extensively discussed the notification issued and it was agreed that a more refined clarification will be issued by Secretary Industries which would provide relief to specific export-oriented industries on case to case basis and also some other food & beverages industries manufacturing essential food items, water, milk, flour, rice and sugar etc. so that they could keep on running and no shortage of all these products occurs at any stage during the lockdown and the prices of all these commodities remain under control.
A mechanism has been decided between the Industries, Chief Minister, Secretary Industries/ Chief Secretary in which it has been principally agreed that lock down will be strictly followed by all the industries and permission will only be granted to specific industries only.
Siraj Teli, during a meeting at the Governor House on Monday arranged by Governor Sindh Imran Ismail to discuss the economic situation with Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Advisor for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain through a video link, thoroughly briefed the lawmakers about the problems being suffered by trade & industry after the eruption of coronavirus and the federal government was urged to come up with extraordinary relief measures to ensure that the wheels of the industry keep on spinning without any interruption with a view to secure jobs of the workers.
He further requested Hafeez Shaikh and Abdul Razak Dawood to convey the message to Prime Minister Imran Khan that the business and industrial community of Karachi was going through a very difficult situation and desperately requires relief which has to be given in shape of 50 percent reduction in interest rates, electricity rates, gas rates, sales tax, federal excise duties and other levies & taxes, besides reversing Industrial Support Package Adjustment (ISPA) which has been demanded in a very odd situation when the industrial production has gone down to around 25 to 30 percent. “The funds saved from this relief will certainly be utilized on providing foodstuff and rations to the poor labor force and daily wage earners who are in terrible crises as they remain confined to their homes”, he added.
Siraj Teli appealed all the industrialists of Karachi to make sure that all their workers and daily wage earners get their salaries before the routine time and they also receive ration and food items as nothing was important than the lives of the poor masses and we have to take good care of them.
He hoped that the Prime Minister would take extra-ordinary measures and provide the required relief to all the industries in the larger interest of the country.
Chairman Businessmen Group Siraj Teli also met CEO K-Electric Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi on Monday who called on Siraj Teli’s residence to discuss ISPA and following points were decided:
- KE will defer the ISPA arrears amount till 30th April 2020. The amount will be paid by industry to KE if they are unable to get it reversed directly from the Federal Government.
- Current bill of March 2020 will be paid without ISPA arrears and Late payment surcharge will be payable before 31st March 2020.
- All industries are asked to pay bills to K-Electric so as to ensure sustainability of power sector.
- All consumers who have already paid ISPA arrears will get adjustment if the federal government decides to reverse the same by 30th April 2020.