Industrialists mourn for another reason

Activities remain suspended as city shuts down on MQM call.


Farhan Zaheer August 24, 2011

KARACHI: The financial capital of the country saw another day of complete shutdown of business activities on Tuesday following a strike announced by Muttahida Qaumi Movement. From the big six industrial zones of the city to the trading and shopping centres, all were closed in absence of public transport.

Korangi Association of Trade and Industry Chairman Johar Ali Qandhari said that all the industrial zones decided on Monday night to observe a complete shutdown in wake of the mourning call.

The MQM, which dominates politics in Karachi, called for a day of mourning on Tuesday against the ongoing violence in the city, where more than 100 have been killed in a week.

Industrialists said that mourning days and strikes in Karachi have badly disturbed the business environment of city that ultimately hit the economy of country. Export orders being shifted to regional competitors and layoffs have become a normal norm for the city’s industrialists due to the deteriorating law and order situation.

However, after remaining shut for half of the day, Traders Action Committee Chairman Siddiq Memon announced in the evening that all the major shopping centres will open at 5pm and remain open till Sehri.

Industrialists and businesspersons pleaded the government to improve security conditions in the city to attract investments in all major sectors and revive the country’s economic growth.

They say that China, India and even Afghanistan are all growing at a fast pace. The government should have a one-point agenda to improve security conditions in the country to make the country’s industry competitive against regional countries.

“Pakistan is surrounded by countries that have seen immense growth in recent years and we can benefit from this development,” said Former Chairman of Federal-B Area of Trade and Industry Karachi Idrees Gigi.

Local industrialists are moving to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other regional countries owing to the deteriorating law and order conditions in country. This shift can only be contained if the government starts taking steps and convinces investors that conditions will improve in the coming months, he added.

Industrial production has remained suspended for more than 30 days in 2011 so far at the Korangi Industrial Zone due to strikes and protests.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th,  2011.

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