(September 30, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the New Sabzi Mandi of Karachi providing fruits and vegetables worth one billion rupees daily should be modernized. The sabzi and fruit mandi is the largest in Pakistan but it is facing May problems which is not only hitting businesses but also adding to the price for end-users, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that despite the lapse of twelve years to sabzi mandi is awaiting different facilities including security, sanitation, drainage, cleanliness, removal of encroachments and fire extinguishing facilities.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the provincial government collects tens of millions of rupees from the mandi but the problems of people doing business there are conveniently ignored. A fire devastated parts of the mandi in 2013 resulted in heavy losses due to the absence of disaster management facilities but it wasn’t enough to draw the attention of authorities concerned, he said.
The former minister noted that the provision of dependable water, gas and electricity supply is also a burning issue which deserves attention of the government. All the problems including rampant bribery are adding to the cost of doing business for which masses are made to pay. He said that existing facilities are insufficient therefore new sabzi and fruit mandis should be established across the country while big cities should be given preference which will bring the rates down.
The veteran business leader said that tensions with India and Afghanistan has also increased prices which should be tackled in a proper way so that it helps bring price down.
He said that the so-called Green Revolution and GMO development has taken a toll on the land environment farmers taste and nutrition of fruits and vegetables which increasing poverty due to high cost. Many countries including Pakistan hastily adopted the genetically modified seed and passed laws which must be reversed to introduce local seed, he demanded.