GWADAR CHAMBER IS HOSTING CPEC CONFERENCE ON MARCH 23
An interview with Gwadar Chamber of Commerce & Industry leader Mariam Saba Chaudhary
“Gwadar and CPEC are the center of attraction not only for people in Pakistan but all over the world. We are happy with the industrialization projects in Gwadar. Shipping and goods transportation activities are already started there but the speed of construction is very slow. People are buying lands overwhelmingly and madly investing in real estate sector but rate of industrial growth by our people is zero.” Mariam Saba Chaudhary disclosed this in her exclusive interview with daily “National Courier”. She said that Free zone concept is there but it is being built by Chinese. Basic necessities like gas, electricity and water are yet not available there. In rural areas of Gwadar RO plants are installed but water scarcity is still there. Local people are selling their lands for money but not taking interest to develop their own land and getting involved in industrial growth. Rate of the land has shoot up to 2 to 4 crore rupees per acre. Dr. Sajjad is the Chairman, Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) and Dostain Jamaldin is the Chairman, Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), he is called king of the port, he is a very good and hard working person. Both of them could provide updates about development works in Gwadar. Replying to various questions Mariam stated that the ports in Makran were mostly built by my father Javed Bashir and now governments of China and Pakistan are building a new infrastructure in Gwadar. CPEC is the major subject in our present debates. Since I am a native of Gwadar, I can speak Balochi, English and Urdu languages. I was born there and keenly interested to see Gwadar as a developed land. I got my education in Quetta, away from my parents. My father was Director General Fish Harbor, in Fisheries Department Gwadar. He lived mostly in Gwadar and Pasni but sent us to Quetta for education, therefore, we missed our parents. After the introduction of CPEC I am confident now Gwadar will be developed and the new born children in Gwadar would be able to get education in Gwadar instead of leaving their parents behind like us. Their liberty should not be affected, this is my vision. She further said; our motive is that people buying land must be taking interest in erecting industrial infrastructure. The efforts are going on by the government to provide water and power at the earliest but if you want to install an industrial unit it will take more than two year time not in a single day. Therefore, we are inviting and stressing the investors to physically start installation works instead of waiting for provision of infrastructure first, then they will be further delayed for another five years. If we develop quickly we will be able to pay the Chinese loan back which is taken on 2 percent rate of interest for 25 years. We are not government, as industrialists we must start investing today. I doubt if we will not start working, government would not be able to get revenue collection. In that case our present generation could not stay there for long. If we failed to develop our own industrial infrastructure in Gwadar, the Chinese would also become dishearten and they will be compelled to use port and the roads just for transit purposes. To another question about current affairs Mariam said; if we go through the emerging global circumstances in USA, Iran and India, this nexus is not very comfortable against us. They belong to anti-Pakistan bloc, while China is supporting Pakistan so there is the only solution that we should empower China and strengthen ourselves. InshaAllah nobody could prevent us if we decide to go through. On behalf of Gwadar Chamber of Commerce & Industry we are hosting a joint conference in Gwadar on 23 March with reference to CPEC for all Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industries to take this matter seriously. By talking about her Corporate Experience she said; I am the founder of Mass HRS and Learning Center of Executives. MHRS was formed as business entity in 2008 with vision of increasing employment rate in Pakistan when global economy was facing great recession which eventually ended up with job cutting and consequently fired human resourced diverted back to their native countries. Similarly it increased the burden to internal private sector of Pakistan. MHRS tried its level best to accommodate the suffered human resources in restarting their earning in different industries, and in next step, has given skillful employment in different regions of World. We are also focused to provide opportunities to enhance human skills through Trainings, Seminars, Conferences, online web portal marketing for different Dastagar and handicrafts through different channels for the areas of Balouchistan and Sindh. We encourage people to support us in our aims and mission. We look forward to partnering with employers to bridge gap of Human Resource requirement. We are Entrepreneur & Business Leader, Change Activist, Business Management and Analytics, Recruitments and Selection, Organizational Development, Research on Public Limited companies, Events and Seminars Management, Online Marketing and promote Pakistan Handicrafts through web portals, Workshops and its Planning, Career counseling. I am running a consultancy firm, also doing event management business along with social activities. Being a member of Chamber and FPCCI, I am Chairperson of FPCCI Standing Committee on Liaison with Government Agencies. Through this committee we have assisted our members to solve their problems with NAB and other government departments. During past four-five years there was a wave of awareness among business community on law & order, against extortion and Bhatta culture. In this regard my committee has worked very strongly. Since last two years I am heading this committee, earlier in year 2012 to 2014 I was head of Liaison with Government Committee. Under this committee we are also watching the fake businesses within the country and reporting to the government agencies about such unscrupulous elements. We are expanding membership activities by monitoring the business concerns if they wish to become Chamber’s members or not. We are also watching the SME sector and check business and industrial sectors that how many industrial units are flourishing or closing due to unfavorable conditions. What are their grievances and the solutions? We also organize four to five different conferences each year. One is SMEs main conference and the other is leadership conference also with stock exchanges of the country. We collect financial data from them and check the public listed companies’ activities whether those companies are performing well or not. We also select the best CEOs, CFO, and CIOs, and arrange awards ceremony for them. Replying to a question about data base of industrial sector she revealed that there was no census of industrial and business sector in Sindh province after the year 2005 and before. Now Chief Minister and Secretary Industries of the province are taking interest with Sindh Bureau of Statistics to arrange industrial census. I will advise you to contact them and obtain the updates in this regard. They are also seeking help from Chambers and the FPCCI on industrial and business data. But our members are very sensitive to pass on the confidential information. Business community is afraid of leakages about their personal data that could prove invitation to Bhatta collectors and other unscrupulous elements. This is the reason why our census efforts were never fruitful in the past. I hope a new industrial census is soon going to start in Sindh that would provide the actual result of GDP in the province. We are cooperating with government and Secretary Industries to bring out the real information on industrial capabilities. Mariam Saba was asked another vital question that there is a serious issue of tax refunds with government and FBR since last 15 years which is piling up and small businesses are suffering due to huge sums of blocked money with government. Talking on this issue she said that it has been started by the government and last year Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had returned about two billion rupees in refund claims. It was the amount blocked about 6-7 years back by previous governments, while the other amounts are expected to be released in coming years. We have already arranged pre-budget and post budget debates and conferences on this issue.
Our motive is that people buying land must be taking interest in erecting industrial infrastructure. The efforts are going on by the government to provide water and power at the earliest but if you want to install an industrial unit it will take more than two year time and not a single day.
Mariam Saba Chaudhary, born in Gwadar is a business leader from Gwadar Chamber of Commerce & Industry. She is a Management consultant and Entrepreneur for different Social, Research oriented and Handicraft Projects. Always ready to take up hard and soft issues for justice without any fear. Took serious steps on many issues of poverty and Leadership. She runs a research oriented Organization on public limited listed companies with different stock exchanges and SECP. She has arranged lots of Job Fairs in different Universities and Hotels as Social Activist without Financial Benefits. Chairperson, City & Local Government Standing Committee of FPCCI from 2012 till present. It’s an honor for her to have this position in a young age. She won Corporate Leadership Awards from 2011 till present. Working as Brand Ambassador of Corporate Leadership Awards to organize the Public Limited Organizations Award worldwide. She has received Jinnah Award for Best Woman Entrepreneur of the year. Received Best CEO of HR Consultancy Services firm Award from Pakistan Standard & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), Ministry of Sciences & Technology. Received on the well establishment of the networks at Autosoft Dynamics in November 2006, as Youngest Network Manager. Also earned Debates and Awards from College and University on different topics. Successfully organize three corporate leadership awards every year. Recruited hundreds of unemployed in different sector. Organized Skill based workshops and trained the people for trainer programs. She has done online Dastgar Projects through Olx and Alibaba Websites. First Network Engineer who spliced fiber from Karachi to Hub.
Interview by: Nasir Mahmood Photos by: Sultan Soomro