Lahore: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) said Ministry of Narcotics Control (MoNC) has been harassing business community, chocking growth, reducing government’s revenue, triggering uncertainty, stoking inflation and contributing to massive unemployment.
MoNC has placed a ban on manufacturing, sale, purchase and use of certain chemicals including hydrochloric acid (HCL) without obtaining NOC and without informing stakeholders while Anti Narcotics Force has started putting businessmen behind the bars which is unfortunate, said Zubair Ahmed Malik, President FPCCI.
He said that MoNC has suddenly asked the stakeholders to take NOC before dealing in the chemicals without giving time for preparations. Many have applied for the NOC but bureaucratic inertia has been making the situation worst, he said.
The FPCCI Chief said that the unilateral and sudden decision has put the future of industries at stake while hurting major industries of national importance like power generation, textiles, paper, soap, water treatment, atomic energy, fertilisers, oil and oil well drilling, steel, food, dyes, chemical and many more.
Many industrial units will face a shutdown in few days while the prices of some chemicals have escalated from Rs4500 per tonne to Rs 35000seen ten per cent hike due to controversial decisions for which end-users would be charged, he informed.
Zubair Ahmed Malik said that imposition of the condition has left industrial units unable to procure HCL from local manufacturers as they have been warned of strict action in case of sale or purchase of this chemical without the ministry’s approval.
On the other hand, manufacturers of HCL says that little stock left which can cater for requirements of next few days and the production of major industries will come to a standstill if the ministry continued to insist on NOC before procurement of chemical.
Keeping manufacturers and users uninformed about the decision is the failure of the ministry concerned for which business community is being made to pay which is unacceptable, he said adding that many businessmen have been caught unaware which has sent very negative signals.
The affectees say that ministries of food, commerce, power, energy etc. were also not taken on board before the decision which is amazing, however Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control is aware of the situation and trying to settle the issue.
Malik said that all the requests for interim relief to help continue operations have fallen on deaf ears which will pave way for unrest, uncertainty, price hike and legal battles.