MIRPUR (AJK)

The AJK businessmen have expressing grave concern over the impasse in the process of industrialisation in Azad Jammu & Kashmir since long following the massive mismanagement on the part of the state-run regulatory authorities and flawed policies of the government.

The business fraternity of AJK has demanded immediate measures to make the functionaries vibrant to ensure the survival of the industrial sector in the region. Through the AJK Chamber of Commerce and Industry, they demanded immediate grant of attractive incentives to ensure the true industrial progress in the state particularly through  the revival of hundreds  of the sick Industrial units in the Industrial areas of Mirpur and Bhimbher districts in AJK.

Alarming indication to the fast deteriorating and ugly situation of industrial sector in AJK was given by the speakers in the annual general meeting of the AJK Chamber of Commerce & Industry held here Wednesday wherein the newly elected office bearers of the AJKCCI took the charge of their offices.

Speakers included newly elected President AJKCCI Ch. Javed Iqbal, outgoing president Ch Azeem Mushtaq, former presidents Zulfiqar Abbasi, Ch Muhammad Saeed and Raja Muhammad Jamil as well as executive committee members Sohail Shujah Mujahid and Ch Khalid Hussain. They said that the industrial estates in Mirpur and Bhimbher have turned into graveyards of the industries because of the lack of the basic infrastructural facilities. The speakers called upon the AJK government to move forward on revolutionary grounds to ensure the survival of the rapidly collapsed industrial sector in AJK by ensuring the early supply of the much need amenities including uninterrupted power supply, natural gas and water to the industrial estates.

They pointed out that there were a total of 200 industrial units in AJK, mostly in the Indusial Mirpur and Bhimbher districts. Of these units, over one hundred units were lying sick, since long, because of lack of the required infrastructure and facilities.

They said that the chamber had already moved recommendations to the state-run Board of Investment and the AJK government for the early provision of required incentives for the survival of new and sick industrial units in AJK. They said that immediate supply of gas, uninterrupted power supply, water and a mega bridge linking Mirpur city with the New Industrial Estate Mirpur were also the urgency of hour to revive the stagnant industrialization process in Mirpur and Bhimbher district – where the industrial estates were giving the look of the graveyard of the sick Industries. They expressed grave concern over the discontinuation of affiliation of the AJKCCI with the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry since past many years because of the lack of required qualification.

Portraying the ongoing bleak picture of the prevailing industrial sector in AJK in detail, former president of AJKCCI and Jammu & Kashmir Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry Zulfiqar Abbasi said that the concerned state authorities should immediately move for devising an immediate sustainable plan for the revival of the sick units.

Abbasi said, “The business community could be hopeful of the positive outcome of the efforts by the AJK government for the revival of the declined industrial sector in AJK if the government’s plans were materialised in letter and spirit with prime focus to strengthen the economy of the AJK region besides to overcome the ensuing increased problems of unemployment and poverty in the area.”

Earlier, Election Commissioner Khalid Chaudhry announced the result of the AJKCCI elections declaring Ch. Javed Iqbal elected unopposed as President,  Kh. Zaffar Iabal  (Senior Vice President and Ejaz Dilawar  (Vice President).