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PR-/72
Ziqaad 4, 1439 A.H.
July 18, 2018

Saleem Mandviwalla appreciates KCCI’s pledge to donate Rs20 million for dam construction fund

KARACHI: Deputy Chairman, Senate of Pakistan Saleem Mandviwalla, while commenting on unusual devaluation of Pakistani rupee against dollar, stated that this sudden devaluation was due to PML-N government’s move to inject around $7 billion to $8 billion of the government treasury into the market during its tenure in order to keep the rupee value stable. Speaking at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber, Mandviwalla added that such artificial measures were not good for local currency as these measures always backfire, which was evident from the recent spell of rupee devaluation. If this correction would have been market driven in the last five years, the situation would have been not that worst, which prevails now.” Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairman BMG & Former President Haroon Farooki, Acting President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Former President AQ Khalil, Junaid Esmail Makda, Ghani Usman and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present on the occasion. Saleem Mandviwalla appealed the business community of Karachi to contribute in the construction of dams as water is the biggest problem being faced by Pakistan, which would affect every citizen of the country, and the construction of dams is the only solution to this serious issue.

In response, Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli immediately pledged to donate Rs20 million for dam construction fund announced by the Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan on behalf of 22,000 members of KCCI whereas chamber’s officers and staff will also donate one-day salary to the same account. “KCCI leadership shall present this cheque to the Chief Justice of Pakistan during his visit to Karachi Registry as per his convenience”, he added, and appealed the business and industrial community to contribute generously for this great national cause. Saleem Mandviwalla appreciated KCCI’s goodwill gesture for building water reservoirs and urged other trade bodies and organizations in private sector to contribute generously to the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s fund. Deputy Chairman Senate, who also had been Federal Finance Minister, advised the business community that through their chambers and trade associations, they should make maximum and timely use of Senate and National Assembly standing committees for resolution of issues related to trade and industry. He also invited suggestions in writing from KCCI members to remove any anomaly or to bring improvement in the laws aimed at strengthening the country’s economy.

Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, in his remarks, pointed out that during PML-N government, the then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar held only a single meeting with KCCI in 2013 when we, instead of hailing his presence, asked too many questions which were unacceptable to him so Ishaq Dar stayed away from the Chamber throughout his tenure as Finance Minister. He said that the former government announced six budgets from 2013 to 2018 and all these budgets were widely criticized by Karachi Chamber only, except the last budget in which some corrections were done. “After three to four budgets of the previous government, other Chambers of the country were also of similar opinion as they too started criticizing the anti-business policies of the government. Consequently, an Action Committee of all Chambers was formed which was led by Vice Chairman BMG Haroon Farooki and joint communiques were issued against the anti-business policies and FBR’s discretionary powers by all Chambers of under KCCI’s umbrella”, he said, adding that if the entire business and industrial community of Pakistan would have supported Karachi Chamber since day one, Ishaq Dar would have never dared to go that far and refrained from announcing anti-business policies. Chairman BMG further pointed out that Businessmen Group has remained at KCCI since last 20 years and 21st Annual Election of KCCI is about to take place this year. “Keeping in view the nomination papers received for KCCI election, it seems that election will be held at Karachi Chamber this year. We absolutely have no objections and we welcome our contestants as elections at KCCI would help us gauged where we stand and where they stand”, he added.

He said, “It has always been our tradition to introduce and announce the incoming Office Bearers of Karachi Chamber prior to their formal election. This year’s forthcoming office bearers are also sitting at the stage who will, inshallah, be elected in the election and will take charge of their positions at the Annual General Meeting on September 30, 2018. Junaid Esmail Makda will take charge as President KCCI, Khurram Shehzad will assume as Senior Vice President and Asif Shaikh Javed will take over as Vice President KCCI.” Siraj Teli was confident that as Businessmen Group has been dedicatedly and honesty serving the entire business and industrial community of Karachi without any discrimination, they will not lose a single seat in this year’s election as well. “Instead of hatching conspiracies from behind, these elements should confront us face-to-face and openly contest with us in the election”, he added. “BMG has achieved record number of milestones during the last twenty years which have not been achieved by any other trade body of the country”, he stated, while citing KCCI’s vibrant role in Bolton Market incident, its contribution to victims of floods, earthquakes, and other natural calamities. “Due to our dedication, hard work and transparency, we made KCCI strong enough to purchase a land in Clifton at a cost of Rs435 million from its own financial resources for construction of KCCI new building being constructed at a cost of Rs500 million, which is a unique achievement as no other Chamber or FPCCI have achieved such a milestone from their own financial resources”, he added. Referring to forthcoming general elections scheduled to be held on July 25, Siraj Teli hoped that may those people get elected in this election who could think seriously about the interest of Karachi. “Today, all leading politician are contesting from Karachi and every one is talking about the interests and wellbeing of Karachi but once they get elected and come into power, they forget and overlook this city”, he opined, adding that to date, Karachi contributes the highest amount of revenue to the national exchequer which simply cannot be denied by anyone. Therefore, all contesting political parties must keep this in mind that they have to pay special attention to the issues of Karachi after they get elected otherwise we, whether like it or not, would surely protest.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chairman BMG & Former President KCCI Haroon Farooki appreciated Saleem Mandviwalla for always paying special attention to numerous issues raised by Karachi Chamber particularly his cooperation towards refraining the FBR from carrying out illegal raids. He was of the view that as the new government will soon take charge of the country’s affairs after the election, they may announce some kind of a mini budget in which the government will have to provide some relief to existing taxpayers who were made withholding agents. “In 2013, FBR made all filers withholding agents which was a sheer injustice. It is the job of the FBR and its Field Formations to collect withholding tax but unfortunately the taxpayers have been made withholding agents which has to be rectified by the next government”, he stressed.

In his welcome address, Acting President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, while highlighting some major issues of Karachi, stated that it was really unfortunate that the governments from time to time have been assuring to provide relief to Karachi but no major step has ever been taken by any one of them, resulting in intensifying the miseries for Karachiites.