Voice of the People


Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.

Hindrance to do business

Private contractors that bid for Government contracts have to pay a security amount at time of submitting quotation and then also pay a percentage of contract amount as Call Deposit Receipt (CDR) in a bank at time of signing the contract.

As some contracts can be for many years and then there are also another year added after completion to cover any warranty issues. During this time the CDR gets lost by the Government organization.

Then an FIR has to be registered and most Government organizations refuse to do it, leaving the Contractor in a lurch. Similarly sometimes the contractor forgets the CDR or contractor dies or the company stops working, the CDR amount remains with the Bank unclaimed.

Similarly during all this time this amount is sitting with the Bank, which enjoys earning interest on it.

But the contractor, who has to complete a contract on his own cost before he is paid by the Government, is deprived of this amount when he needs it the most.

This wastage of resources by blocking them and these additional costs are major hindrance to do business in Pakistan.

Therefore, I request the Government to make it binding on banks to return unclaimed CDRs after five years. Banks should also pay interest on the CDR to the contractor each quarter.

Similarly Government organizations should maintain CDR and security deposit records, provide the data to contractors quickly and ensure FIR and relevant procedure is followed within prescribed time for any lost CDR or security deposit. They should also be asked to return all old CDRs in their record to contractors or banks.

The Government can also consider ending CDR requirement for contractors who have already completed equivalent valued government contract and can provide successful project completion certificate. Or make it mandatory for returning CDR on 40% completion of contract time or work. This will provide resources to the contractor to complete the job on time.


Opportunities of tourism

THERE are various sites in Malakand Division attracting local and foreign tourists. Scenic valleys, snow-covered hills, dense forests, cool springs, soft streams and rivers enrich the natural beauty and colours of these sites.

Places renowned for their breathtaking beauty and picturesque valleys include Swat, Shangla, Dir and Malakand Agency.

Burner district is one of those popular spots, enriched with immense natural beauty and colour. Some 30 years ago, Burner was a tehsil of Swat and not as popular as it is today.

In 1990, after gaining the status of a full-fledged district, its locals took a sigh of relief, calling it a good omen for their progress and development.

They were optimistic about a pleasant change with many progressive opportunities at par with other advanced areas of Malakand Division.

Unfortunately, it proved to be mere daydreaming for Buner never witnessed any progress for the last 30 years. What is more astonishing is that tourism is the most neglected sector by the successive governments.

There are many touring opportunities in Buner but the underdevelopment, communication and transportation system of the area act as hurdles in the way of tourists. It is time a reasonable network of roads and communication is provided to these areas.

The climate is not as cold as that of Swat and Shangla districts and the weather remains pleasant throughout the year. In fact, Burner may be aptly called one of the best tourist attractions in Pakistan.

Areas renowned for their fresh and cool atmosphere include UC Sarwayee of Khadukhel Tehsil, Durmayee, Ashari, Sar patai, Amluk Darra and Mahaban in Mandanar Tehsil, Shahheeda Sar, Bar Teeraj, Dag Sar and Shangrra villages in Changharzai Tehsil, Kot Gokand, Kalail and Elum Ghar in Gadezi tehsil, etc have enough potential to easily attract tourists. In short, Buner district must be promoted as a tourist resort on a sound footing.


South Africa cannot be like Zimbabwe

It’s disappointing that South Africa, the second richest African country after Nigeria, is gravitating towards the same issues that eroded Zimbabwe’s economy, dignity and sanity.

South Africans are engaged in looting like the Zimbabweans did during labour and cost of living protests.

South Africans destroying properties, is another thing that occurred in Zimbabwe. Gap between the upper and lower class in SA has also caused people to engage in violent activities.

The SA government failed to abruptly calm the situation before malls were destroyed. Similar to Zimbabwe, poverty is growing in SA.

I call upon the leadership of African National Congress and business leaders to swiftly find solutions before the country is wrecked like Zimbabwe. We do not want to witness SA in a similar situation as Zimbabwe.

We do not want a string of catastrophic failures and lack of direction in SA. SA should not turn into Zimbabwe and strong efforts should be taken to prevent the escalating situation.

I believe President Cyril Ramaphosa has a business background and understands the essence of peace and stability in terms of economic prosperity and attracting foreign investors.

Images of the recent violence in SA serve to tarnish the image of the country for tourists, visitors and potential investors.

SA should stop copying Zimbabwe’s episodes of collapse and come back to its senses before it is too late.

SA should learn from the clueless, careless and chaotic Zimbabwean President who has dismally failed to unite the country and bring back exiles from foreign land.

He has also failed to turn around Zimbabwe’s fortune 4 years after ousting Mugabe. I do not understand what he has to offer in Zimbabwe in 2023 since he failed to pull country from the rock bottom where Mugabe plunged it.


CCE-19: Exemplar of snail’s pace

Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) announced the advertisement of CCE-19 on 29-07-2018 in various national and local newspapers. The screening test was conducted in December’18.

The written exam was held in April’19, result was announced in November’20 and the final recommendation list was published on April 14, 2021. The entire episode is a classical example of its snail’s process. Much to the misery, the recommended officers are yet to receive their joining letter.

This injustice was not solely done to CCE-19 as same was the fate of CCE-18. Are there solid grounds for the authorities to justify such a sluggish attitude? Who will compensate those who resigned from their previous posts? Is there any mechanism to hold the government answerable for such an apathy? It is requested of all civil society, legal fraternity and media persons to raise our concern on different forums and urge the government to expedite the joining process of CCE-19.

Hyderabad, Sindh

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