LAHORE – Industrial bodies’ representatives on Thursday demanded a 3-year extension in construction period in Sundar Industrial Estate.

Vice Chairman PIAF and former chief of PPMA Amjad Jawa said that a large number of businessmen could not start construction of their industrial units because of an acute energy shortage as at such time when neither electricity nor gas is available to industry, initiation of any new venture was wastage of money. He said that the management of Sundar Industrial Estate should understand ground realities and allow an extension in construction period would be a great favor to the economy.

PAAPAM vice chairman Usman Malik, criticising the provincial government policy of forcing allottees of Sundar Industrial Estate who have not yet started industrialisation process to transfer plots, observed that most of the allottees are genuine industrialists and wanted to set up units there but financial burden and liquidity crunch cannot allow them to invest further.

He raised the point that at a time when the business community was already facing a number of challenges, including prolonged energy crisis, deteriorating law and order situation, high input cost and struggling for its survival, instead of providing some relief, the provincial government is engaged in creating more hurdles for Sundar Industrial Estates plot holders’ businessmen.

Usman Malik said the business community is presently unable to meet its working capital requirement due to exceptional hike in Rupee-Dollar parity, which is ultimately increasing cost of doing business particularly in Punjab where industrial estates are growing and number of industries is squeezing.

“The sword is hanging on the allottees of SIE to start construction to set up units otherwise their plots will be vacated by the government, as there is long queue of investors belonging to Karachi who wanted to acquire vacated plots, because their position is better due to availability of power as well as gas to their industry.”  He said that economic activities were already frozen because of unprecedented energy crisis and deteriorating law & order situation. If government forced the industrialists to start construction anyhow, business atmosphere would further gloomy. He appealed to the Chief Minister Punjab to take notice of the situation and order for least 3-year extension in construction period in Sundar Industrial Estate.