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It is time for the policy makers to take a deep hard look at the reasons that why the Shipping Policy has failed

From SHAMIM AHMED RIZVI
Islamabad
May 20 -June 02, 2002

The development of engineering industry world-wide is characterised with an all out government support. In Pakistan this support has not so far been so visible if not absent. As a consequence our engineering industry remains far from achieving its true potential in the face of tersing imports of capital goods. Due to vested interest the country continues to have basically a cotton based economy which offers limited opportunities for future expansion and growth. For achieving major economic strides it is now essential that our reliance is shifted to other high value added areas like engineering goods industry otherwise we would be left far behind in the 21st century world of science and technology.

Deficit financing, adverse balance of payment situations and inflation are the key factors at the macro level that are responsible for the economic disaster in Pakistan. At the micro level it is our attaching low priority to the development of the engineering industry and the adoption of negative attitude towards a Research and Development (R&D) based policy promote the transfer of technology and development of an indigenous industrial base that have not provided any chance to self-reliance. The net result has been the primary manufactures, low value addition and low level of technology.

With the advent of WTO the economies are integrated and only the most competitive and innovative shall survive. Keeping in view the above fact there is a dire need of the longrun objective for competitive industry, which may require simultaneous implementation of the following three areas:

(a) LEVERAGING EXISTING INDUSTRIAL STRENGTHS.

(b) CREATING A STRONG INTERMEDIATE SECTOR AND DOMESTIC LINKAGES.

(c) CREATING EXTERNAI LINKAGES THROUGH FDI.

Realizing the importanee of long term planning the present government decided in the year 2000 to formulate a ten-year "Engineering Vision 2010" to achieve desired economic, growth and become "Asian Tiger" in the foreseeable future. This long term vision is based on export-led industrial strategy (to increase 5 to 6 billion dollars exports of Enginnering Goods annually) through diversification and deepening of the resource-based and non-resource based industries. The emphasis will be on full integration of manufacturing operations through value chain to enhance industrial linkages and to increase productivity and competitiveness by:

  • 1) GLOBAL ORIENTATION:
  • 2) PUBLIC/PRIVATE SECTOR INDUSTRY
  • 3) PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCEMENT AND QUALITY/STANDARD:
  • 4) INDUSTRIAL DATABASE:
  • 5) BALANCED REGIONAL INDUSTRIALIZATION.

During the last two years, however, very little has been achieved in terms of the objective of the vision. The Engineering Development Board which is looking after the implementation of engineering vision 2010, when approached to find out what exactly has been done sofar to achieve the goods of the "vision" has nothing concrete to show. In a written reply the chief coordinator of the Board said.

In order to provide a growth led strategy for the Engineering Industry it was decided to approach the task by dividing the Engg. Industry into the following Sectors. Each sector being headed by an experienced person being called the Sectoral head and committee experienced persons functioning under the Sectoral head would formulate a report on the sector covering all aspects of the value chain as identified in the presentation made by SMEDA. A Steering Committee (SC) was also formulated to not only provide the guidelines for the development of the vision but also monitor the progress at every stage. Mr. Almas Hyder was nominated as the Convener of the Steering Committee.

The task of development of vision was being taken under the auspices of the Engineering Development Board and the fact that SMEDA carried the expertise for most of SME's that fell under the various identified sectors their services are being utilized to facilitate the achievement of the required goals. But the institutional memory of all this exercise and implementation strategy is resting with EDB. EDB and SMEDA are mustering additional, quality, manpower to manage the exercise out the funds so provided.

Following are the Sectoral Committees with their Convenors under working for Engineering Vision:

Sectoral Committees

Sr.

Sector

Members

1.

Heavy Engineering

Mr. Towfiq Chinoy

2.

Casting and Forging

Mr. Imtiaz Rastgar

3.

Automotive Sector (Automobiles and automotive parts, Agriculture Implements)

Mr. Sohail P. Ahmad

4.

Consumer Durables

Mr. Kamal Abbasi

5.

Cutlery and surgical

Mr. M. Ashraf

6.

Fans and Electrical Motors

Mr. Muhammad Imtiaz

7.

Molds and Dies

Mr. Nabeel Hashmi

8. .

Electrical Capital Components

Mr. Asim Jalil

9.

Ceramics and Non-Metal

Mr. Tariq Rehman

10.

Electronics

Mr. Mohsin Syed

11.

Light Engineering (bicycles, machinery

Mr. Arif Ejaz

manufacturing, nuts & bolts, fastners etc)

Various meetings were held in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore to deliberate and finalize the Vision under the Chairmanship of Minister for Commerce, Industries & Production, Secretary Industries & Production and Convenor of the Steering Committee of Engineering Vision.

On April 21 & 22, 2002 a brainstorming meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Minister for Commerce, Industries & Production and fit was decided to initially focus on the information that has been collected for the following sectors and the progressive studies for the rest of the sectors to continue and once all the sectors have been finalized this will form the 1st stage of the growth led strategy for the Engineering Sector.

  • Electric Fans

  • Automotive & Agricultural Machinery

  • Surgical Instruments

  • Ceramics and non-metals