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Karachi no longer Pakistan’s economic hub amid rising crime and investor exodus, Governor Sindh

Governor Sindh Kamran Khan Tessori declared that the city has lost its status as Pakistan’s economic hub. Addressing industrialists at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) on Thursday, Tessori cited the rise in crime and dwindling investor confidence as primary reasons for this decline.
He noted that many industrialists are relocating their operations to other cities or abroad.

Governor Tessori, highlighted the critical need for joint efforts to address these issues. He criticized the inequitable distribution of the Export Development Fund (EDF), which benefits cities like Sialkot but not Karachi, despite its significant contributions to the national economy. Tessori urged a collective approach to tackle these disparities and promised to engage with federal authorities, including the Prime Minister, if necessary.

The meeting, attended by President KATI Johar Qandhari, Deputy Patron-in-Chief Zubair Chhaya, Senior Vice President Nighat Awan, Vice President Muslim Mohamedi, CEO of KITE Limited Zahid Saeed, Former Presidents and Chairmen SM Yahya, Gulzar Firoz, Ehtshamuddin, Sheikh Umer Rehan, Danish Khan and other notable industrialists, underscored the urgency of the situation. Tessori called for introspection and proactive measures, inviting industrialists to discuss solutions at the Governor’s House with Financehighest electricity and gas prices and interest rates in the region. Qandhari noted that industrialists are independently rehabilitating industrial areas, a task that should fall under government responsibility. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive 10-year economic policy and announced the submission of a detailed 72-page budget proposal to the government, which has received commen Minister and other key federal officials.

In his address, KATI President Johar Qandhari outlined the escalating challenges faced by Karachi’s business community. He reported a 37% increase in production costs, along with the burden of the dation from the Prime Minister’s House.

The rising crime rate in Karachi has deeply concerned investors and industrialists, according to Qandhari. He stressed that without sufficient government support and facilities, the business community’s efforts would be insufficient to drive economic growth.

Zubair Chhaya highlighted the severe impact on employment, with 30 to 40 percent of workers laid off from private companies and industries in Karachi. He praised the government’s SIFC initiative as a potential economic game-changer but reiterated that restoring local investor confidence is essential for attracting foreign investment. Chhaya called for policy development in consultation with the business community.

Zahid Saeed, CEO of KITE Limited, pointed out that despite legal provisions for federal and provincial grants under the Industrial Areas Development Companies Act, Karachi has received no such funding from the federal government. However, the Sindh government, led by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, has allocated over one billion rupees, enabling high-quality development in the Korangi Industrial Area at reduced costs. Saeed lamented the lack of EDF allocations for Karachi, which exports $16 billion annually, and criticized the misallocation of infrastructure levy funds meant for city improvements.
In his closing remarks, Sheikh Umar Rehan, Special Assistant to the President of FPCCI, reinforced the need for collaborative policy-making to address these systemic issues.

Photo Caption: KATI President Johar Qandhari presents a shield to Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori. Also present are Zubair Chhaya, Nighat Awan, Muslim Mohamedi, Zahid Saeed and Sheikh Umer Rehan.

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