Winding up of Pakistan Textile City not in Sindh’s interest: CM

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Friday that under a pre-planned conspiracy, Pakistan Textile City at Port Qasim had been destroyed so that its industry could be shifted to somewhere else in the country, but “we would not allow this for the interest of the province and the country.”

This he said at a meeting with a delegation of National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce & Textile, which was led by its Chairman Mohammad Siraj Khan. The Chairman NA Standing Committee and its members, Shazia Marri and others told the chief minister that they [standing committee] had recommended revival of Pakistan Textile City on January 4, 2018 and again today held a meeting here at FTC and reiterated their earlier stance of reviving the city.

The Sindh Chief Minister, after detailed discussion, categorically decided that the winding up of Pakistan Textile City was not in the interest of the country and the province. “The Sindh government will support the revival of the city so that employment opportunities for 80,000 workers can be created,” he said.

Shah said that the land of the textile city measuring 1250 acres belongs to Sindh government. The federal government formed a company which borrowed over Rs1 billion from National Bank of Pakistan and drained out it with ill-planning. The provincial government owns 16 percent share in the city.

The federal government took a simple and unrealistic decision of liquidating the company and then sold out its land to retire the loans. “How would you sell the land which does belong to you [fed govt],” he questioned and went on saying the provincial government would not allow this broad daylight robbery on the land of Sindh government. “We are ready to revive the city and pay the liability as per our share but rest of the liability would have to be borne by the federal government,” he said clearly.

The chief minister directed the Chief Secretary Sindh to write a letter to Barrister Zafrullah Khan, the Chairman Winding Up Committee for apprising the decision of the provincial government.

He also directed the Chief Secretary/senior member Board of Revenue to write a letter to Port Qasim Authority and take up the issues of illegal allotment of Sindh government’s land to different parties and leasing it out to Pakistan Textile City. “The land does not belong to you so how you are leasing it out to other parties,” he questioned.

Shah also said that the Sindh government would extend its full financial support to Textile City in case of the proposed change in the financial and capital structure of the company.

It was also told to the nominee Director of the Board of Textile City as well as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company to communicate the stance of Sindh government to the Board of Directors of the company in their next board meeting.

The standing committee chairman and members said that they would direct Chairman PQA to sit with Chief Secretary and Secretary Land Utilization Board of Revenue, Sindh to resolve the land dispute.