KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said on Friday that a pre-planned conspiracy has been hatched against Pakistan Textile City Company (PTCC) at Port Qasim to destroy so that its industry could be shifted to somewhere else in the country, but “we would not allow this for the interest of the province, the country.”
This he said while meeting with a delegation of National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce & Textile led by its Chairman Siraj Khan.
The committee’s members including MNA Shazia Marri and others told the chief minister that the standing committee had recommended revival of PTC on January 4, 2018, and again today they held a meeting here at FTC and reiterated their earlier stance of the revival of the city.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah after detailed discussion categorically decided that the winding up of Textile City was not in the interest of the country and the province.
“The Sindh government will support the revival of the city so that employment opportunities for 80,000 workers can be created,” he said.
Murad said that the land of PTCC measuring 1250-acre belongs to Sindh government. The federal government formed a company which borrowed over Rs1 billion from National bank of Pakistan and drained out with ill planning. The provincial government owns 16 percent share in the city.
The federal government took a simple and unrealistic decision of liquidating the company and then selling out its land to retire the loans, he maintained.
“How would you sell the land which does belong to you (referring to the federal government), he questioned and went on saying that the provincial government would not allow this broad daylight robbery on the land of Sindh government.
“We are ready to revive the city and pay the liability as per our share but rest of the liability would have to be borne by the federal government,” he said clearly.
The chief minister directed the Sindh chief secretary to write a letter to Chairman Winding-Up Committee Barrister Zafrullah Khan in order to apprise him about the decision of the provincial government.
He also directed the chief secretary and Board of Revenue senior member to write a letter to Port Qasim Authority (PQA) and take up the issues of illegally allotting Sindh government’s land to different parties and leasing it out to Pakistan Textile City. “The land does not belong to you so how are you leasing it out to other parties,” he questioned.
The CM also said that the Sindh government would extend its full financial support to PTCC in case of a proposed change in the financial and capital structure of the company.
It was also told to the Board of Textile City nominee director as well as to the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company to communicate the stance of Sindh government to the board of directors of the company in their next board meeting.
The standing committee chairman and members said that they would direct PQA chairman to sit with Sindh Land Utilization Board of Revenue secretary to resolve the dispute over land.
It may be noted that PTCC was established in 2004 but the actual development work started in 2007 with initial equity of Rs1.10 billion. However, at that time, it was felt that equity is not sufﬁcient as compared to the size of the project. Later, the company offered 100 percent shares which were not subscribed by the majority of the shareholders.
In the beginning, the company faced non-availability of requisite infrastructure such as water supply, gas, electricity, sewerage etc. The company only utilized Rs2.4 billion which was subsequently blocked by the National Bank of Pakistan.
The PTCC was provided with a land of an approximate area measuring 1250 acres by Sindh government in the shape of the share of the Sindh Government and this share also included the returns from the company. The company had these objectives:
To provide the textile sector with an exclusive infrastructure to enhance productivity, quality, cost-effectiveness and compliance in the post-World Trade Organisation era;
To create synergistic environment encouraging vertical integration and achieving economies of scale;
To attract local and foreign direct investment in the textile industry; to boost export potential of value-added textile products and to create 80,000 jobs.