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KARACHI: After successfully demonstrating complete unity and sincerity towards the affectees of Bolton Market Incident in 2009 and Timber Market inferno in 2015, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) in collaboration with Sindh Government carried out the assessment task for scrutinising the losses suffered by the affectees of fire-hit Cooperative Market and Victoria Building which has successfully been completed and a final report has been submitted wherein compensation claims of Rs392.75 million and Rs52.45 million for Cooperative Market and Victoria Building respectively have been finalised for release of compensation to all the affectees of both markets.

Hence, the overall compensation claims for both markets summed up to a total of Rs445.20 million. It is pertinent to mention here that the Sindh Government constituted a High-powered committee namely “Karachi Affected Relief Committee” on February 1, 2022 to access the losses caused by incidents in Cooperative Market and Victoria Building which was chaired by Sindh Minister for Industries, Commerce & Cooperatives Jam Ikramullah Khan Dharejo.

The committee also comprised of Chairman Businessmen Group Muhammad Zubair Motiwala, Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon, Secretary Finance Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Cooperatives Department Dr Nasim-ul-Ghani Sahito, President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, Vice Chairman BMG Jawed Bilwani and General Secretary BMG A Q Khalil. Subsequently, a three-member Committee was formed comprising A Q Khalil, Jawed Bilwani and Muhammad Idrees for assessment of losses suffered by affectees of both markets to be submitted to Sindh Minister of Industries and Chairman Karachi Affected Relief Committee Jam Ikramullah Khan Dharejo.

Jam Ikramullah Khan Dharejo, during his last visit to Karachi Chamber on February 24, 2022 along with Secretary Finance & Secretary Cooperatives, assured that as soon as the Karachi Chamber submits its report carrying the precise losses suffered by the affectees of Cooperative Market and Victoria Building, the Sindh Government will expedite release of compensation within the earliest possible time.

“The Sindh government is keen to finish this work as early as possible so that the businesses of all the affectees could return to normalcy,” he added.

He said that as soon as cheques for all affectees were processed, Chief Minister Sindh along with prominent members of the Cabinet will visit KCCI for distribution of cheques amongst affectees. He also appreciated the dedicated efforts made by Karachi Chamber to help out the shopkeepers in distress.

In order to smoothly accomplish the challenging task of scrutinising compensation claims, KCCI formed a main consultative committee and six assessment committees which summoned each and every businessman to verify his documents and claims. The most effective strategy, which was adopted in the Bolton Market Fire Incident in 2009, was once again readopted to provide relief to the affectees of Cooperative Market and Victoria Building.

All the shopkeepers, traders and businessmen of Cooperative Market and Victoria Building, while expressing satisfaction over the assessment carried out by Karachi Chamber, stated that the leadership of Businessmen Group has undoubtedly maintained BMG’s tradition of Public Service.

The affectees and their families appreciated the efforts made by Karachi Chamber and thanked the leadership for not only expressing complete solidarity with perturbed shopkeepers but also making all out efforts to ensure compensation to all the affectees of Cooperative Market and Victoria Building.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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