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KARACHI: An industrial estate in Benazirabad, previously known as Nawabshah — equipped with all basic infrastructure and facilities — awaits investors for the last 22 years who prefer Karachi despite abnormally high land prices.

A comparative study of industrial land rates in the province revealed that price in the interior towns range between Rs0.3 million to Rs0.4m per acre compared to Rs12m in Karachi, Rs0.8m-Rs1m in Hyderabad.

“There are no plots for new allotments in Karachi but the large textile mills facing financial crunch are selling parts of their land creating space for new units,” Abdul Aleem Lashari, Managing Director Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE Ltd) told Dawn.

He failed to explain satisfactorily why the industrial estate in the hometown of former president Asif Ali Zardari, has not done well. Among other demotivating factors he identified lack of incentives for new industries and security.

He hoped that with the establishment of a chamber of commerce and industry in Benazirabad, the process of industrialisation will pick up pace.

Data provided by the SITE Ltd revealed that the number of units in Site Karachi is 2,617, Hyderabad 439, Site Super Highway 418, Sukkur 76, Kotri 145, and Nooriabad 68.

The SITE official revealed that a lone industrial unit was set up with modern machinery to manufacture viscose fibre, a vital raw material in the textile sector, in the early days of the industrial zone in Benazirabad.

It was, however, closed down due to recession in the textile sector.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2017