Businessmen demand relief package for rain-hit Karachi
KARACHI: Traders and business community in Karachi on Wednesday called for the city to be declared calamity-stricken and demanded a relief package for people and businessmen who suffered losses caused by a heavy wave of rains monsoon.
“Even after 75 years of the country’s independence, the largest industrial center and commercial capital which contributes up to 54% to the country’s total exports, 65% to the public treasury and 95% to the total of provincial taxes and levies is in a state of total disorder. said Businessmen Group (BMG) Chairman Zubair Motiwala.
He added that the average rainfall recorded in Karachi in July 2022 (85.5mm) was much lower than that recorded in Mumbai (800) and Kolkata (411mm), but the devastation was multiples greater, a- he lamented.
The BMG chairman asked the federal and provincial governments to explain how long it would take to complete the restoration of Karachi’s weakened infrastructure. He also inquired about medium and long-term measures to deal with the rains in the coming days.
“Despite the Rs 1.1 trillion package announced in Karachi to revive the city and manage disasters, progress on the package is not at all visible in the city and requires an audit of where the funds have been expenses.”
The city’s business community should be taken into consideration on issues relating to Karachi for a lasting solution to the endless miseries of Karachities, he added.
Motiwala called for declaring Karachi a calamity-hit area and demanded a major relief program for people and businessmen who suffered intense losses due to the devastation caused by heavy monsoon rains in the city.
“K-Electric and SSGC billing dates may be extended to provide Karachiites with some respite. Tax breaks are expected to be announced on provincial taxes to offset the immense losses from the rain disaster.
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Muhammad Idrees said business people had stormed the KCCI with heaps of complaints asking when Karachi’s situation would improve and what the government was doing to solve their fundamental problems.
He said K-Electric was adding to the hardships of the townspeople as more than 100 power supply lines tripped after the rain.
Karachi’s problems remain unresolved as the provincial and federal governments resort to the blame game. Provincial and federal authorities manage only 30% of the city, while the remaining 70% is under the control of cantonment councils, which “is like having a state within a state and the city remains poorly managed due to overlapping powers and an unclear scope of work. ”
He opined that people would be forced to opt for city-wide protests if their issues were not resolved quickly.
“The government is not visible and the city has come to a standstill after the recent wave of rains.”
SITE association chairman Abdul Rasheed said the city’s infrastructure was already in tatters, which was further destroyed by the monsoon rains. “This situation due to urban flooding has severely affected businesses and industries as they find themselves unable to function and maintain their operational activities.”
Faisal Moiz Khan, chairman of the North Karachi Trade and Industry Association, said intense rains and urban flooding had delayed their production.
Amir Hasan Lari, Chairman of SITE Super Highway, lamented that people are suffering from many problems such as no gas at stations, no electricity at homes, shops and offices, and the lack of decent infrastructure for getting around.
“People are facing a shortage of water, gas and other amenities,” he said.
Landhi Trade and Industry Association Chairman Nisar Palla called on the government to ensure all basic amenities and infrastructure, saying they were vital
for sustainable economic growth in the country.