For rapid industrial growth, emphasis will be on the
construction industry for which liberal house loans will be provided to
meet the present shortfall of 5 million houses. The new plan jointly
worked out by the ministries of finance, commerce and industries and
production also calls for technological upgradation, technical manpower
development and support for appropriate infrastructure (physical,
financial, technical and intellectual). The plan also seeks to
facilitate tripartite arrangement among investors, technology suppliers
and local partners to achieve better industrial productivity. It
emphasises on cluster development particularly for areas like Gujranwala,
Sialkot, Wazirabad and Hyderabad.
Sources said that the main objective of the plan is
reversal of downward trend of investment and industry, elimination of
the awkward phenomena known as "De-industrialization", ending
of stagnation and to ensure that the economy is again at the take-off
stage, with the government's assertions of its strong commitments to
adhere to the last three years reform programme.
INDUSTRIAL SECTOR GROWTH UP BY 5.18PC
The overall production growth of 39 Large Scale
Manufacturing items was recorded 5.18pc in July 2003 as compared to same
period last year. The production of cigarettes during July 2003 has
increased by 9.55pc, cotton yarn 1.32pc, cotton cloth 24.28pc, cotton
cloth (non-mill sector) 2.50pc, jute goods 17.20pc, printing papers
49.45pc, writing paper 5.95pc, packing paper 2.15pc, chip board 7.78pc,
soda ash 1.05pc, caustic soda 2.82pc, sodium phosphate fertilizer
49.42pc, cement 12.53pc, bicycles 7.35pc, motor tyres 6.38pc, coke
(steel) 13.72pc, iron and steel products 8.32pc, cars 47.46pc, light
commercial vehicles 1.63pc, trucks 30.56pc, and motorcycles 57.53pc.
According to official figures, the production of
fertilizer sector fell by 3.32pc during July 2003. The production of
sheet glass is recorded 7.33pc low. The production of motor tubes was
also low by 15pc. The production of jeeps, buses and tractors was also
recorded low by 9.09pc, 40.59pc and 13.61pc, respectively.
TEXTILE INDUSTRY FACES NON-TARIFF BARRIERS
The major textile exporting countries including
Pakistan will face yet another dilemma in the post-textile quota regime
when the developed countries will take advantage of non-tariff barriers
(NTB) for restricting exports from these countries.
Pakistan along with other textile exporting countries
must stress on the developed countries that NTB, which would mostly
include social compliance issues, environmental issues, and labour
standards may not be used against them, which might affect their exports
to reach their markets, said former chairman, All Pakistan Textiles
Mills Association (Aptma), Nadeem Maqbool.
107 UNITS CLOSED
One hundred and seven out of 204 industrial units at
Lasbela Industrial Estate have been closed, while only 20 sick units
have been rehabilitated so far.
Along with other developing countries Pakistan should
take care in giving access to foreign services suppliers since the
liberalization in the services sector has already showed a decline in
quality standards of services and increased the prices, says a senior
research scholar in the services sector.
WAPDA SEEKS DIRECT POWER SUPPLY FOR KESC
Pakistan's biggest power utility is seeking the
government approval for the construction of a grid station that would
enable independent power producer Hub Power Company to directly supply
power to Karachi Electric Supply Corporation by 2006, industry sources
said. The state-run Water and Power Development Authority has sent a
proposal for the project to the government for approval, a Wapda source
KESC is facing a power shortfall of 800-1000
megawatts. KESC can get a maximum of 600 megawatts from Wapda's
transmission line, but if the new proposal is approved then the utility
can directly obtain power from Hubco's 1,200-megawatt plant, a KESC
NWFP INDUSTRY FEARING ANOTHER HIT
With well over 40 per cent of the total number of
industrial units established in NWFP already experiencing closure, the
feeble industrial sector of the Frontier province appears to be hardly
prepared to face future challenges emanating from the enforcement of
World Trade Organization's regime in 2005. NWFP industrialists believe
that due to unfavourable business environment local industry would get
further hit once WTO agreement becomes effective in January 2005.
SMALL UNITS MAY FACE CLOSURE
Trade and industry predict closure of a large number
of small and medium size industries after 15 months when the rules and
regulations regarding phasing out of quota and cut in import duties
under the World Trade Organization (WTO) will come into force from
January 2005. Industry people say that chances for survival of the
organized or big units are there because they have been spending
millions of dollars to comply with the requirements of the global trade.
However, small and medium size units will face difficulty as they have
not enough capital to meet the requirements of WTO.