The Muttahida Qaumi-Pakistan Movement (MQM-P) and a cross section of the business community rejected the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Act 2021, calling it a plot against urban areas and the people of Sindh.
The conference was hosted by MQM-P at a banquet in Latifabad, Hyderabad on Sunday. MQM-P MP Sabir Hussain Qaimkhani read the eight point agenda at the start of the event.
He said the purpose of the conference is to inform traders and industrialists in Hyderabad about the black law that has been enacted by the Pakistan People’s Party government.
“The position of the MQM-P is that any law relating to democracy must be amended in consultation with all legislators,” he stressed. He recalled that the LG ordinance of 2001 had truly transferred power to the grassroots. By comparison, he said, the PPP amended its own law enacted in 2013 to further deprive local government of authority. He argued that it is not the MQM-P but the PPP that divides Sindh but separates the urban and rural parts of the province.
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He lamented that billions of rupees in taxes are collected in Hyderabad but that elected councilors do not receive development funds for the city. Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCSTSI) chairman Altaf Memon said the November 26 amendment to the LG law had upset all politically conscious people.
He urged the government of Sindh to involve all political and commercial actors in the framework of amending the said law. SITE Hyderabad Trade and Industry Association President Saaman Mal lamented that 300 industrial units were operating in the Hyderabad SITE area, but poor infrastructure, encroachments and undue taxes continued to interfere with business activities.
He claimed that only one provincial industry minister during the 13-year PPP rule in Sindh bothered to listen to their complaints and he also touched on some of the issues.
“The industrialists will support the MQM-P against the controversial LG law”, he announced, saluting the deputy of this party Nadeem Siddiqui for having made the voice of the business community heard in the assembly. Qasimabad Businessmen’s Forum Chairman Rehmatullah Saand said the development work carried out at Qasimabad taluka during the Nazim Hyderabad tenure of the MQM-P could not be matched by the development initiatives of the government of Sindh of the PPP. “Qasimabad People Still Praise Kunwar Naveed Jamil [former Nazim] for the construction of streets which he had initiated while he was in the saddle, âhe declared.
Saand advised the MQM-P to keep the residents of Qasimabad on board in their fight against the authoritarian LG law. Representatives of several other traders’ associations also expressed their point of view and reiterated their opposition to the new LG law.