Lasbela Chamber’s contribution to the exchequer crosses Rs32 billion

KARACHI: The only major industrial estate in Balochistan Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s contribution to the national exchequer has crossed the figure of Rs32 billion while the second phase of the industrial zone will achieve the new record of revenue from the taxes.

This was stated by Ismail Suttar, Chairman Law and Order Committee and immediate past President of LCCI while addressing a press conference at LCCI along with Secretary Abdul Rasheed in Hub Balochistan. H said that Lasbela Industrial Estates

Development Authority (LIEDA) along with LCCI is working for the power generation for the development of the Phase-2 of the industrial area as they had planned 50-megawatt captive power project for the establishment of more than 100 new factories in Hub.

Sattar said Hub Industrial and Trading Estate (HITE) had more than 200 factories; most of the owners and skilled labour of which come from Karachi while locals are also quickly learning and handling many jobs. “Some industries are also coming from Punjab as they are having gas issue in their area,” he added.

Sattar said, contrary to Karachi, there is no law and order issue in HITE, where industrialists, workers and area people live in harmony. “We are like family here. We are happy,” he said. “Nobody sends chits for ‘bhatta’.”Besides, there is no load- shedding of electricity in the industrial area, which receives supply of power from K-Electric.

LIEDA purchases electricity from K-Electric under one name and bills the industrialists separately. Currently, water to the industry is supplied through tankers from Karachi. Otherwise, water supply comes from Hub Dam, which is currently dry. Lasbela district in Balochistan serves as principal gateway to Gwadar. With the construction of Northern Bypass and Coastal Highway, it has emerged as the industrially and commercially active region of Balochistan, having great potential for industrial and commercial investment.

HITE is the major industrial area of Balochistan and only industrial estate of Pakistan, which fully complies with the environmental laws. “It is done through liaison of chamber, which does not work only for betterment of industry only. Its role is like a bridge between government and industry,” he said. Sattar said it is time to convert the resources in value- added products. “Exports should increase to $40 billion to $50 billion against the current $25 billion,” he said.

Lasbela Industrial Estates Development Authority has developed marble city of more than 70 factories with the collaboration of the chamber and received no money from the government, while 80 percent local people, who work on marble mines, established their own industries with 100 percent production being exported.

“Lasbela district contributes Rs31 to Rs32 billion annually in the national economy,” he said. Suttar said industrialisation is an answer to many problems of Pakistan. “Industry needs friendly environment, while there is no industrial policy in Pakistan,” he said. “We do not want any other support from the government. If you do not give electricity or gas to industry you are not promoting it.” He added despite good working environment they need support of the government in three areas.

Hub has developed as a city and it is no more a ‘choki’, and when there is arrival of any ship in Gwadar traffic increases and results in huge traffic jams in Hub city during morning and evening times. They demanded of the government to construct Hub bypass on immediate basis, which was planned and designed by the National Highway Authority (NHA). But, the project could not be executed due to non-release of funds. Suttar also demanded establishment of dry port in Lasbela, as its export and import activities are at a larger scale. “We also need facility of treatment of waste water,” he said.He said the chamber is also in progress for the development of Fish City in Lasbela district, as fish caught on that coast is fine in quality because of low marine pollution.

Suttar, who is also owner of ‘Hub Salt’, led journalists to his factory. He informed that Pakistan exported 200,000 tonnes of salt every year to USA, Japan, Europe, China and other countries.

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