Karachi, March 24, 2020 (PPI-OT): Zubair Motiwala, patron of the Site Association of Industry (SAI) and president Suleman Chawla, expressed confidence on the federal and Sindh government’s measures to curb the spread of the Corona virus but also showed deep concern over the growing industrial crisis in Karachi.
In an emergency meeting, Zubair Motiwala and Suleman Chawla, calling attention to the catastrophic situation of the government industrial site Industrial Area, demanded the Chief Minister to visit the site area for personal observation. Issue the orders as they have taken excellent steps in many areas to improve the quality of life and solve the problems of the people of Karachi.
SVP Saleem Nagaria, VP Farhan Ashrafi, Saleem Parekh, Younus Bashir, Jawed Bilwani, Tariq Yousuf, Imran Sikandar and other members were also attended the meeting. SAI leaders praised the efforts of Chief Minister Sindh in the prevention of coronavirus, informed that industrialists realizing their obligations and responsibilities towards the coronavirus and minimizing its impact on human lives in general and of the labours.
All the labours while entering the premises, undergo a checkup of their body temperature and only those with normal temperature, are allowed to work, while labours have been provided with the masks to wear and sanitizer stands are also available at entry point and sprays at working place, they said.
SAI leaders said members are of the view that in current scenario, hygiene is of utmost importance and looking at the disastrous situation of SITE area. They demanded the Chief Minister Sindh to personally visit SITE area and issue necessary orders as he has done so wonderfully for other areas and other spheres of life in Karachi.
Zubair Motiwala said that it is expected that there will be severe liquidity crisis in the coming days and months, so the industrialists appeal that interest on loans including profits sharing on Islamic instruments may be frozen for a period required. Moreover, all long term and short term maturities be pushed back by 3 months and if the situation does not improve in 3 months then as the situation demands.
Mr. Motiwala proposed to prompt release of income tax and sales tax refunds and DLTL claims. He said all banks should give one-year extension on repayment of all dues and duty rationalization on import of raw material used in exports.
Zubair Motiwala said that wholesale markets have been closed since Thursday and industrialists believe that this is not a right step as wholesale markets don’t have that kind of congestion but they may be required to operate in limited number of hours but complete closure may lead to severe liquidity crisis. If markets remain shut then ultimately industries will also close down as without the markets operation, they can’t continue.
He also referred to the retrospective ISPA charges for July to December 2019 is illegal as it is a closed and past transaction. He urged that the federal government should withdraw corrigendum dated 22nd January, 2020 of S.R.O. 575/(I) 2019 dated 22nd May, 2019.
Suleman Chawla appealed to the Sindh Chief Minister to take immediate attention of Repair of sewerage system and roads, PC-I of the project has been approved by all concerned authorities and waiting approval of the honourable Chief Minister Sindh. It must be approved at the earliest as convening of meeting might take longer but roads need to be revamped, built, and repaired immediately.
He also requested the Chief Minister Sindh and the Government of Sindh to freeze the collection of all provincial levies such as SRB, SESSI, EOBI, Professional Tax etc. with immediate for as long as it required. Mr. Chawla also appealed the federal government that if they desire industries to keep running their operations, then they should come to the rescue of the industries. As Europe is almost locked down and USA is going in that direction which are two major markets for our exports. Local markets are closed. Local Government offices have been closed in the province of Sindh.
He further said that It is a kind of the locked down condition. As such, the flow of money has almost come to a halt and severe liquidity crisis situation has created. Therefore, it would not be possible for the industrialists to discharge their liabilities towards paying gas, electricity and water bills as well as payment of sales tax, income tax, EOBI, WHT and many other federal taxes and levies.
Therefore, house appealed to freeze the collection of all federal levies for as long as it is required but min. period of 3 months. Suleman Chawla on behalf the members of the SITE industrial area showed solidarity with the government and volunteered themselves for any kind of work or assignment by the government to fight the spread of corona virus.
For more information, contact:
S.I.T.E. Association of Industry
H-16, Textile Avenue, SITE, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-32562883, +92-21-32560705