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KARACHI: Abid Nisar, the former vice chairman of the All Pakistan Paper Merchants Association and former chairman of the Import and Anti-Smuggling Subcommittee of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has urged the government to subsidise the paper and printing industry so that students could get textbooks and copies at reasonable prices.

He said that the cost of doing business has already increased enormously due to high electricity rates, continuous increase in the value of the dollar, and political instability that has caused difficulties for the business community.

He appealed to the government to grant subsidy to the paper and printing industry to save it from destruction, and pointed out that the value of dollar has reached a high level.

Abid Nisar said that the crisis the industry is facing has intensified due to the profiteering of the local paper mills, while the prices of books and copies have skyrocketed due to the increase in paper prices.

As a result, a majority of the students will be deprived of textbooks and copies despite the start of the new academic year. Thus, the dream of making the nation educated will not be fulfilled.

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. So the government should ponder over the problem.

He was of the view that exports are decreasing, but the government does not care. Rather the politicians are bent upon sinking the economy over the issue of who should occupy “the chair”.

Because of the serious 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 hub of the country, but unfortunately the city is badly neglected, he said. Whichever government comes, Karachi is treated like a stepmother. Consequently, the city’s infrastructure is in a very bad state.

He said that packages are announced for Karachi, but unfortunately the funds are never released.

He requested the government to take serious measures to save trade and industry from being destroyed so that the economy may be brought out of the crisis. “Pakistan has given us a lot; we should give something (back) to this country. We have great honour in the world and we have to keep this honour high,” said Abid Nisar.

He added that dams should be built to prevent wastage of water. The water thus saved could be utilised to increase power generation and provide cheap electricity to industries as well as irrigate crops.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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