Share of Pakistani cities in GDP remains low

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KARACHI:

The lack of investment in infrastructure is slowing down the economic and commercial growth of Pakistani cities, said Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo.

In a statement on Saturday, he said that the share of cities in any country’s gross domestic product (GDP) stands at 80% however, this number for Pakistan was hovering around 55%.

“This phenomenon is being experienced due to the absence of urban planning and lack of investment in the infrastructure of cities resulting in poor transportation networks, abysmal health and educational facilities and insufficient provision of utilities like water, sanitation, gas and electricity,” he said.

Citing that the negligence had been observed during the eras of past and the current government, he was of the view that the incumbent provincial and federal governments should not alone be blamed.

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FPCCI’s Central Standing Committee Convener Obaid Saleem Patel pointed out that United Nations Development Program (UNDP) had forewarned that due to incessant rural-urban migration, nearly 50% of Pakistan’s population would be living in cities.

“There will be mayhem and chaos in Pakistani cities resulting in the human tragedy of enormous proportions if the provincial and federal governments do not wake up and multiply their budgets for infrastructural development of all the major cities of the country,” he said.

FPCCI’s Coordinator for Head Office Sultan Rehman reiterated that Karachi was the only megacity of the world that lacked a mass transit system (MTS) and according to statistics, only one bus seat available for 34 people in the city.

The meeting was also attended by prominent urban planners, builders and developers including Association of Builders and Developers former senior vice chairman Saleem Kassim Patel and members Karim Adhia, Mehmood Pasha and Sikandar Mukatey.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2021.

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