(29 August, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that Karachi is economic and industrial hub of the Country where majority of industries, head offices of multinational institutions and banks are situated. 95 pc of Country’s exports and imports took place via ports located in Karachi.
The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that according to World Bank, Karachi contributes 20 pc to Country’s GDP, which is annually increasing by 5.5 pc. This city is responsible for maximum tax collection in Country and contributes to 75 pc Custom Duty, 80 pc sales taxes and 53 pc of total FBRs collections. Karachi produces about 30 percent of value added in large scale manufacturing; Textiles, cement, steel, heavy machinery, chemicals, food, banking and insurance are the major industrial sectors contributing to Karachi’s GDP.
The former minister said that there are 8 industrial zones in the city with one export promotion zone in the city of over 21 million population while 25 thousand formal and more than 0.2 million informal trade and industrial institution are located, actively contributing to production and exports of the Country. Despite a major contributor to the National economy, Karachi stood at 137 out 140 in the global liveability index, worth considerable to all institutions, he added.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that $ 12 billion to be spent on city’s transport under CPEC; metro buses to be introduced in six cities including Karachi, establishment of Karachi to Lahore motorway, up-gradation of Karachi to Peshawar railway line to be further extended from China to Gwader by 2030.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Karachi is facing severe problems despite major economic contributor and industrial hub of the Country. According to Asian Development Bank 90 pc drinking water is unsafe and industries are in acute shortage of water. World Bank reports disclosed that bad sanitation in the city is the major cause of deaths due to diarrhea and disease among children under five. Karachi is the only mega city in the World, with no mass public transport system. Increasing concrete structures and lack of plantation have increased the intensity of hot weather and hundreds have died due to heat stroke. Karachi is number one in pollution in Pakistan and air in Karachi is as polluted as twice in Beijing, according to World Bank.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that federal and provincial governments could not play significant role in development of infrastructure, sanitation, mass transit and curbing issues like pollution and street crimes. Karachi chamber of commerce and industry has totally failed in attaining the due position to the Quaid’s city, however it has succeeded in forming personal relations.