The Leadership of Businessmen Group (BMG) and Office Bearers of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), while strongly criticizing Sindh Building Control Authority’s move to seal thousands of cottage industries in Mehran Town, stated that the cottage industries have been sealed with an excuse that these cannot be operated in a residential locality but it was purely unlawful as the Finance Act clearly defines ‘Cottage Industry’ as a manufacturing concern ‘which is located in a residential area’.
In a joint statement issued, Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, President KCCI Shariq Vohra, Senior Vice President Saqib Goodluck, Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan, Chairman Special Committee for Small Traders Majeed Memon and PCLC Chief Hafeez Aziz pointed out that all the cottage industries in Mehran Town have been sealed in response to a particular fire incident that happened in this area last month in which precious lives were lost but penalizing everyone for someone else’s negligence was not the solution to the problem but it was obviously sheer injustice to millions of workers who are associated with all the cottage industries in Mehran Town. These cottage industries are a major source of generating employment particularly for women which was the basic phenomena for establishing these cottage industries in the neighborhood not only in Pakistan but all over the world so that women could easily focus on their work as well as their homes, they said, adding that the biggest advantage of setting up cottage industries in residential areas was that it creates gender employment which has always been the top priority of the government.
They said that all types of businesses particularly small traders, shopkeepers, eateries and cottage industries etc. are already going through the toughest times of their lives due to the disaster caused by COVID-19 pandemic. In such a situation, SBCA, instead of acting leniently, aggravated the hardships by sealing all the cottage industries in Mehran Town which would intensify the miseries for millions of people by rendering them jobless.”
Hence, BMG Leaders and KCCI Office Bearers appealed that in order to save jobs hundreds and thousands of workers and also their families from poverty and starvation, the Sindh Government must intervene in this most serious matter and issues directives to SBCA to immediately unseal all the cottage industries located in Mehran Town and regularize them so that the owners of all these industries and their workers could take some sigh of relief and resume their activities.