KARACHI         -       Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved Rs1.37 billion for the reconstruction of all dilapidated roads of Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE), Karachi, and has also decided to transfer the authority to collect property tax to SITE Ltd.

The decision was taken at a meeting between the chief minister and a delegation of SITE Association, which called on him here at the CM House on Monday.

Led by Qasim Siraj Teli, other members of the delegation were Zubair Motiwala, Suleman Chawla, Farhan Ashrafi, Jawed Bilwani, Saleem Parekh, Abdul Hadi and Abdul Rasheed while Sindh ministers Saeed Ghani, Jam Ikram, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Advisor to the CM on Law Murtaza Wahab, P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro and secretary industries also attended the meeting.

The industrialists told the CM that roads in the SITE area which already had developed cracks were further eroded by recent heavy rains so much so that mobility on these roads had become quite hard. Therefore, they added, transportation of finished goods had also become a tough task.

They also pointed out that the financial condition of SITE Ltd was not good either because it was overstaffed.

Provincial Minister for Industries Jam Ikram, while endorsing their point of view, said that against a requirement of 450 employees, SITE Ltd had been overburdened with 1,500 employees. “Therefore, the funds generated locally are spent on salaries and pensions of the staff,” he said, and added that the Sindh Small Industries was also faced with a similar situation. 

The minister added that most of the recruitments were made during the tenure of Gen Musharraf.

The SITE Association delegation requested the chief minister that SITE Ltd be authorised to collect Property Tax from industrialists of the area so that the funds generated locally could be spent on the areas’ development.

The chief minister, after listening to the SITE Association demands, said that his government would rebuild all the roads under Karachi mega project, and approved an amount of Rs1.37 billion for the purpose. Murad also directed the industries department to prepare PC-I of the project and submit the same to the P&D for approval.

He directed Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah to assign the project of reconstruction of roads in SITE area to Karachi mega project team.

At the same time, however, he ordered constitution of a committee of industrialists which would monitor the construction work.

Sindh CM said that not only the roads would be rebuilt but drainage system would also be developed on their sides so that rainwater could be drained out.

On the request of delegation of the SITE Association, the chief minister agreed in principle to hand over the power to collect property tax to SITE Ltd so that more revenue could be generated which would be later spent on the development of the SITE area.

Syed Murad Ali Shah directed Advisor on Law Murtaza Wahab to work out a legal plan to take back the authority to recover property tax from Excise & Taxation department and hand it over to SITE Ltd instead. The chief minister directed Minister for Industries Jam Ikram to overhaul the SITE Ltd and make it a vibrant organisation.