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KARACHI: The leaders of the United Business Group (UBG) on Wednesday urged all political parties to work together during this hard time and evolve a long-term economic policy (charter of the economy) to save the country.

Speaking at a press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC), Patron-in-Chief SM Muneer UBG and Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (Kati) said that the country is facing a serious economic crisis as 90 percent of Faisalabad’s industries have closed down, exports have also suffered a severe blow.

He said that the government promised a surcharge of 9 cents on five export sectors, but charged 14 cents, which will further hit exports; adding that due to the flood, the agricultural products, especially the cotton crop, were destroyed, and in these conditions, there has been a shortage of food items.

The economy slow down and industrialization is on a halt, unemployment ratio is increasing rapidly, due to which the incidents of crime and looting have increased in Karachi.

He said that humanity is suffering in the flood-affected areas, and helping the affected people is not only the job of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, but the federal ministers should also visit the affected areas and help the victims. In response to a question, SM Muneer said that new dams should be built in the country, and those who took money in the name of dams will have to be accountable.

He said that we are sending relief goods to the affected areas of Balochistan and Sindh through Kati under the leadership of Salman Aslam, but these goods are also looted during the commute.

SM Muneer said that the philanthropists of Karachi should send more goods to the affected areas, we are happy that the Karachi Chamber has done a lot to help the flood victims after us.

SM Muneer said that negative propaganda against Pakistan Army should be stopped on social media, Army is the most active to help the flood victims. “Our Pakistan Army is handling the country; propaganda against the Army should be stopped immediately.”

He said that Imran Khan collected 5 billion rupees in 2 hours, and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari collected 1.3 trillion rupees from the international community, this money can be used for the flood victims and even help in clearing Pakistan’s debt.

UBG President Zubair Tufail said that floods in Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and South Punjab will cause a rapid increase in unemployment in the country.

Kati President Salman Aslam said that in Badin, Sehwan, Khairpur, Larkana and other parts of Sindh people are in dire need of tents, dresses for women and children, and mosquito nets instead of food; adding that skin diseases are spreading quickly in these cities and people have no place to hide themselves.

Khalid Tawab said that despite being an agricultural country, we will have to import cotton, which production had been reduced to 4 million bales from 14.5 million bales, urging political parties to make a joint plan to restore the economy. Hanif Gohar said that around Rs. 165 million were donated by the members of Abad to help the flood victims. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig said that the government should work with all the political parties in the economy, they must separate politics from the economy, and they must support the affected people by putting political differences aside.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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