SMEs in hot waters due to corrupt officials: meeting toldSeptember 17, 2014
KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) called upon the trade leaders to inculcate entrepreneurs to work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery through the trade associations and not to let go such activities but report each and every such activity through the agencies.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver presiding over a meeting of the union said the SMEs were facing tough times due to increasing corruption and they had to deal with corrupt officials in most of the government departments all the time.
He said the officers were demanding money from the entrepreneurs for regular legal work also and the entrepreneurs had been compelled to pay them.
“This practice is prevalent in the government institutions and is labelled as speed money. It is very unfortunate that it is also prevalent in government hospitals, schools and municipalities. One cannot get any work done without paying bribes. The income tax departments, the customs and the check post are just not prepared to even answer queries without gratification,” he said.
Besides the corruption, the SMEs are the victims of extortion and are getting letters and demand notes demanding huge amounts of money.
As a result, many entrepreneurs are not going to their factories and are working from their offices in safe places or their homes on the internet and have installed cameras whereby they can remain in touch with their factories on the internet.
Thaver called upon the trade leaders to take up the issues of ever increasing corruption, bribery and extortion with the federal and provincial governments and also to work seriously against corruption, bribery and extortion and advise their members to report crime to the police, FIA and NAB through the trade associations.
He even emphasized the need to report cyber crimes of hacking, cheating and deception through the cellular phones.
He complained that some gangs were boldly operating and making calls to people that they had won the lottery or their name had been selected in the balloting and demanding initial fees and charges for processing their claims for prizes.
“It is very unfortunate that the government is not taking corruption seriously and all big and small promises made before elections remain unfulfilled,” he concluded.
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