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PESHAWAR: Owners of small factories have urged the provincial government and the authorities concerned to avoid taking what they called ‘anti-industry’ steps and instead facilitate them in order to promote industrialisation in the province.

Small-scale manufacturers called for uninterrupted power supply to their industrial units situated in the Small Industrial Estate on Kohat Road, Peshawar, and resolution of the issue of low gas pressure.

They also urged the authorities to refrain from harassing or arresting the owners or employees of the units on the pretext of collecting taxes and called for serious steps for improvement in the water and sanitation system, besides prolonging the duration for which vehicles carrying raw materials could enter the estate.

The demands were raised at a meeting chaired by president of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad, during a visit of the managing director of Small Industries Development Board (SIDB), Syed Zafar Ali Shah, to the chamber’s offices.

The meeting was also attended by the SCCI’s senior vice president, Imran Khan Mohmand, SIDB’s deputy managing director, Noman Fayyaz, chamber’s former president, Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz, president of the Small Industrial Estate Kohat Road, Wahid Arif Awan, owner of small manufacturing units, their representatives and the officials concerned.

While stressing the need for taking proactive steps for resolution of the problems faced by small factories in Peshawar, Hasnain Khurshid said that small industrial units have played a pivotal role in economic development, especially vis-à-vis the country’s exports.

He said that taxpayers are the backbone of the economy; that’s why they should be facilitated at every level.

The SCCI’s president said the bodies and institutions responsible for implementing the rules and laws should avoid taking anti-industry initiatives and refrain from harassing employers or employees alike on the pretext of collecting various taxes. The raw materials headed to the industrial estate should also not be seized.

The owners of small factories were of the opinion that production losses had increased substantially due to frequent tripping of power supply equipment and increase in the duration of unannounced load-shedding.

Those attending the meeting urged the authorities to end instances of double taxation that, they said, were creating a huge gulf between the government organisations and industrialists.

On the occasion Syed Zafar Ali Shah assured the small manufacturers that SIDB would get the problems solved by taking them up with the relevant government departments and agencies in an efficient manner.

He said the issue of power equipment tripping in the industrial estate would be resolved after bringing online a separate/ independent power feeder for the estate. He also promised that the police department would upgrade security arrangements in the estate.

The SIDB’s managing director said a one-window operation was the need of the hour so that all forms of taxes could be colleted under one roof. However, he said that most of the issues would be resolved after construction of Phase-II of the small industrial estate in Peshawar. Imran Khan Mohmand, Engr Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz and Wahid Arif Awan were among those who also spoke on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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