KARACHI: Unprecedented flooding in the country has severely affected business activity in Karachi as trade between the city and other areas of the country has been stalled. Target killings, civil unrest and incessant power outages in Karachi had already severely dented the usual business optimism that accompanies Eid and the wedding season.
According to Atiq Mir, President Karachi Traders Union, trading between Karachi and the rest of the country has been stalled due to the floods. He explained that Karachi receives goods from within the country and also distributes imported goods to major trade centres in the country.
Due to the destruction caused by the floods, commercial activity between cities has virtually come to a complete halt.
He also feared that the floods would also have a negative impact on the Eid shopping season.
The president of the Tariq Road traders’ action committee, Siddiq Memon, mentioned that although shopping for Eid commences in the second week of Ramazan, heavy losses are feared this year.
He disclosed that finished goods worth millions of rupees are lying in warehouses but due to decreased demand from the rest of Pakistan, substantial losses are anticipated on investments made by traders in preparation for Eid.
Meanwhile, skilled workers from Karachi have started returning to their respective hometowns and as a result production in factories is falling.
In the days leading up to Ramazan, target killings and ethnic violence had interrupted economic activity in the city and it was hoped that business would accelerate as Ramazan approaches but the floods have extinguished this anticipation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2010.
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