(October 11, 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 Friday said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government should take note of the plight of Marble City Risalpur (MCR). The facilities promised to the investors should be provided to attract an investment of six billion rupees which will boost revenue and employment, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) announced the establishment of MCR in 2009 on 185 acres of land. 199 plots were offered at high rates and a promise was made to provide all facilities in 18 months.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that PASDEC has managed some sub-standard power, sewerage and road work but it has not provided the promised facilities despite the lapse of ten years.
The former minister noted that lack of proper infrastructure has resulted in a lack of interest on the part of investors therefore only 35 units could be complete while another 30 are under construction. He said that units on remaining plots will only be established when infrastructure is improved and uninterrupted power supply is ensured through the dedicated powerhouse.
Presently the factories rely on shared electricity which is subjected to outages and fluctuation. The local electric supply company is not interested in improved electricity provision to MCR as its administration has not paid their dues to power company while investors have already paid all dues. He said that federal and provincial governments should improve the state of affairs in MCR to attract investment. He noted that the country has 30 billion tonnes of marble but production and exports are negligible.
A little attention can create employment opportunities in the province of KP while employing modern methods can improve the situation as blasting waste almost 70 percent of the marble. He said that the marble sector is facing tariff and non-tariff barriers which must be removed while corrupt officials should be held accountable for their deeds.