SIALKOT - The pace of development work on two mega projects including Sports Industries Development Centre (SIDC) and Sialkot Business and Commerce Centre (SBCC), costing more than Rs776 million has been geared up.

Official sources told TheNation on Friday that the SIDC would be completed at a cost of Rs435.64 million while SBCC would be accomplished at a cost of Rs341.67 million. The objective of setting up SIDC in this export-oriented city and hub of cottage industry of the country is to extend new technology of mechanized ball which is a threat to hand stitched inflatable soccer ball industry of Sialkot.

The SIDC project was initiated by the federal government to address the problems of soccer ball industry of Sialkot besides its modernization. The sports goods industry was confronting with a serious threat in the form of thermo moulded ball that uses medium end technology to produce a ball having most of characteristics of hand stitched ball. Sialkot is catering 85 percent of the total world demand of hand stitched inflatable balls that means 60 million balls annually.

The regular functioning of SIDC would enable the soccer ball manufacturers to cope with the new challenges and trends in the international market as well as this project would enhance the capacity and competitiveness of football industry in the field of mechanized balls while help other industries to on modern lines. It may be added that Sports Industries Development Centre is a joint initiative of ministry of production, SMEDA (Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority) and Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sialkot Business and Commerce Centre (SBCC) would be eight story building and consists of convention centre, business facilitation centre, library, marketing services and display centre and it will help promote industrial development through provision of facilities.

The completion of SBCC project will add new dimensions to business activities in Sialkot and would be a land mark building in this export city. The project has been undertaken on Public-private partnership. Both the projects would be operational in next year sources added.

DBA electioneering picks up: The electioneering for the annual Sialkot District Bar Association and Tehsil Bar Association elections is gaining momentum day by day as the polling will be held on January 14.

All the groups are making high claims of their victory. In Daska, Munawar Hussain, Muhammad Akmal Basra and Zahid Mehmood Goraya have been elected unopposed as vice president, joint secretary and library secretary respectively as the candidates vying against them have withdrawn their nomination papers in their favour.

In Sialkot, as many as four candidates Muhammad Asif Bhalli, Shahid Mir, Nasir Waheed and Saleem Khan Cheechi are contesting for the slot of DBA President. All of them are claiming to give a tough time to each other in the polls. Two candidates Nadeem Akhtar Butt and Sheikh and Sheikh Suhail Nazeer are in the race for the seat of vice president and three candidates Ch M Raza, Bilal Ghuman and Muhammad Bashir Sulehria are vying for the slot of general secretary.