KARACHI - The office bearers of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) have condemned the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) for issuing demolishing notices to regularised commercial buildings.

The Supreme Court had ordered on January 22 to stop all commercial activities on residential plots in the city.

Earlier, permissions granted by the SBCA have been revoked, and the businesses on a residential plot established with the permission of SBCA, will still be demolished.

Director General of SBCA has advised the directors to give the businesses three days’ notice and then start the demolition operation.

FPCCI and ABAD urged the federal and provincial governments to approach the Supreme Court appealing against the decision by February 03, 2019.

Addressing a press conference at FPCCI on Wednesday, Chairman ABAD Hasan Bukshi said they supported action against illegal buildings but targeting legal and regularised buildings was wrong. “Builders contributed a revenue of Rs25 billion to Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) in the last 15 years for the regularization and conversion of residential buildings into commercial ones,” Bukshi said.

He said that SBCA itself had leased these buildings as commercial buildings in past, adding that issuing notices to hundreds of commercial centers had created a panic and uncertainty at various business centers in the city.

President FPCCI Daru Khan Achakzai said that the order of Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) had been misinterpreted.

“Karachi contributes 20 percent of the national revenue and 30 percent of the total industrial production. These measures are creating a sense of uncertainty among the business community of the city,” Achakzai said adding the federation was did not support the illegitimate elements, but demolishing leased properties was wrong.

He said around 72 industries were associated with the construction industry alone and demolishing buildings would severely discourage flow of investment. President FPCCI urged SBCA to prepare a list of illegal structures in consultation with ABAD so that the issue could be sorted out.

Senior Vice President FPCCI Mirza Ikhtiar Baig said that 930 buildings were converted into commercial in the last 15 years after a 5-member bench of Supreme Court had ruled in favor of such a conversion. “Now this recent decision of the apex court contradicts the earlier decision.”