KARACHI: Abid Nisar, the former vice-president of the Pakistan Paper Merchants Association and former chairman of the Import and Anti-Smuggling Sub-Committee of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has urged the government to subsidize the paper and printing industry so that students could obtain textbooks and copies at reasonable prices.
He said the cost of doing business has already risen dramatically due to high electricity tariffs, the continued rise in the value of the dollar and political instability which has caused difficulties for the business community.
He called on the government to provide subsidies to the paper and printing industry to save it from destruction, and pointed out that the value of the dollar had reached a high level.
Abid Nisar said the crisis facing the industry has intensified due to the profit of local paper mills, while prices for books and copies have skyrocketed due to rising paper prices.
As a result, a majority of students will be deprived of textbooks and copies despite the start of the school year. Thus, the dream of educating the nation will not be realized.
He pointed out that due to the huge increase in the price of paper, textbooks and copies have become so expensive that they are beyond the reach of the common man. The government should therefore reflect on the problem.
He was of the opinion that exports are going down, but the government does not care. On the contrary, politicians are bent on sinking the economy over who should be in “the chair”.
Due to the severe economic crisis and the current situation in the country, members of the business community are worried about how they will manage the affairs of their establishments in the coming days.
Karachi is the economic center of the country, but unfortunately the city is badly neglected, he said. Whatever government arrives, Karachi is treated like a mother-in-law. As a result, the city’s infrastructure is in very poor condition.
He said packages are announced for Karachi but unfortunately the funds are never released.
He called on the government to take serious measures to prevent trade and industry from being destroyed so that the economy can emerge from the crisis. “Pakistan has given us a lot; we should give something (in return) to this country. We have a great honor in the world and we must keep this honor high,” Abid Nisar said.
He added that dams should be built to avoid water wastage. The water thus saved could be used to increase electricity production and provide cheap electricity to industries as well as to irrigate crops.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022