December 02, 2016Print : Business
KARACHI: Pakistan Ship Breakers Association (PSBA) Thursday urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to lift ban on the work at Gaddani to save the ship-breaking industry and its sub-industries from a complete breakdown.
Gaddani ship-breaking yard has been inactive since provincial government imposed a moratorium on the ship-breaking activities in the wake of a deadly fire that killed 26 people on November 1, 2016.
“It was the first such accident in 45 years. It was undeniably a tragic incident, but a mishap just cannot be used as an excuse to shut down an entire industry,” Mohammed Ikhlaq Memon, executive member of PSBA told a press conference.
A committee, constituted to investigate the cause of the fire that broke out after a number of explosions on a ship, is preparing a report and its finding will help the industry and government to adopt better safety/prevention measures in the future.
“The whole industry and the inter-linked industries should not bear such a huge brunt of one such incident,” said be. Memon said that the ship breaking industry was the highest tax generation industry for Balochistan and contributes around Rs1 billion as tax each month.
“While around 15,000-20,000 of labor and other workforce, linked to the industry is suffering because of this moratorium, major industries like steel and construction to which ship-breaking provides raw material, are also facing supply issues.”
The press conference held at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) head office, was also attended by the representatives of The Pakistan Steel Re-Rolling Mills Association (PSRMA) and Association of Builders & Developers of Pakistan (ABAD).
“The government should order resumption of the ship-breaking activities in 24 hours,” Sheikh Khalid Tawab, senior vice president FPCCI said while talking to the media. “The closure of any industry by the authorities gives rise to distrust among investors.”
Tawab said the industry should be given permission to restart activity, while both the government and industrialists can share proposals to improve safety and medical facilities in the area.