Karachi Garment City : A distant dream even after 10 years’ pending
KARACHI: Even after ten years, the Karachi Garment City (KGC) project’s lease deed of 300 acres of land is still in pending due to a stay order, while the KGC’s board of directors (BoDs) seek to hire a private law firm to expedite the progress, Daily Times has learnt.
“Initiation of the project has already been delayed on account of various hurdles, including revision of development concept of the project on the recommendations of Ministry of Textile Industry secretary in 2012, Shahid Rasheed,” said KGC CEO Aziz Memon.
In a letter to the secretary, a copy of which is available with this scribe, Memon informed the ministry that the BoDs of KGC have decided to become a party in the case, as since June 2015, lease deed of 300 acres of land allotted to KGC is pending with the Malir deputy commissioner. Despite several written reminders, Malir DC is just not responding in the matter, he added.
He further mentioned that the Malir DC is not even giving any clarification on the applicability of stay order granted by the Sindh High Court on June 3, 2013, in suit number 730/2013 of Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation against Government of Sindh and others.
Memon was of the view that the Malir DC is unlikely to formalise the lease deed until stay order is vacated, thus considering the fact that KGC/Ministry of Textile Industry is not among the 15 respondents named in the stay order, question of becoming a party in the case was considered in 10th Annual General Meeting of KGC held on 30 October 2015.
“It decided to suggest the ministry to become a party in the suit and hire services of an experienced and reputed law firm in the case to protect our interests,” informed Memon.
The Sindh government, in its preliminary legal objections submitted in the case, has also mentioned that an area of 300acres in Deh Pipri was allotted to KGC by the government with the approval of competent authority and possession of the said land has already been handed over to the allottee.
“To expedite the process, I am becoming a party in the suit as per decision of AGM and if legal advice is needed, we would like to engage an experienced and reputed local law firm to represent us in the case, as matters handled by the government prosecutors usually take much longer time in conclusion,” Memon concluded.
KGC BoDs has sought an early comment from the Ministry of Textile Industry in this regard.
The government in ‘Trade Policy 2003-04’, decided to set-up garment cities in Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. The provincial governments were to allocate lands to set up these cities. KGC project is 100% owned and funded by the Government of Pakistan.
Total Rs 423.43 million been received by KGC from the Export Development Fund (EDF) till date.