Dec 12 - 18, 2005

The city represents craftsmen-turned entrepreneurs who have made Sialkot the only export-oriented city of the country

A strategy is being finalised for tracking the agricultural tools manufacturing industry on modern lines and its up-gradation in Punjab.

Official sources told The Page recently that under the programme the government would extend all possible technical support and guidance for the up-gradation and capacity building to the manufacturing units producing agricultural tools in Punjab.

Special attention would also be laid on up-gradation of existing industrial units of Daska Tehsil of Sialkot district which is a hub and famous for manufacturing of various types of agricultural gears with traditional technology and catering the requirements of farmers community since long in Punjab.

Keeping in view the importance and skill of agricultural tools manufactures, the Punjab government has decided to extend full support, guidance and loan facility to the manufacturers engaged with the manufacturing of agricultural machinery for modernisation and upgradation of their industrial units enabling them to fulfil the domestic needs more easily.

The government had already initiated an action plan for extending loan facilities to the SMEs and other interested persons intending to establish new industrial units including agro-based industries. The government had set aside more than Rs 8 billion for providing loan facilities to the SMEs and other interested persons for upgrading of their existing industrial units and for setting up of new units in Punjab.

The government was motivating the agricultural tool manufacturers that they should avail the loan facilities and concessions for advancement of their industrial units and capacity building, the sources added.

Vice President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Sheikh Ejaz Ahmad Soni has said that Sialkot represents craftsmen-turned entrepreneurs who had made Sialkot the only export-oriented city of Pakistan.

Addressing foreign delegations during their visit to Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said Sialkot is producing best quality of footballs, hockey sticks and cricket gear which are being used in all international games including World Cup and Olympics. Most of the developed countries were importing surgical instruments from Sialkot for re-export purpose under their own brand names, he informed the visitors.

Ejaz said that this export-oriented city and hub of cottage industry is competing with other countries in quality and style of all items.

About 40 per cent share of the total ISO-9000 certified companies in Pakistan proves that Sialkot's business community is much conscious about the quality of products, he pointed out. The SCCI VP further informed that Sialkot voluntarily contributed some share against their export for face lifting and construction of main arteries of the city while constructing Sialkot International Airport on totally self-support basis.

The visitors while expressing their views highly appreciated the efforts of the business community of Sialkot towards social sector for building roads and other mega projects. They also appreciated the skill and craftsmanship of the industrial workers for producing and maintaining the quality of products.