CONTRIBUTION OF NWFP IN PAKISTAN'S ECONOMY
S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst, PAGE
Sep 07 - 13, 2009
The North West Frontier Province (NWFP) is situated on the crossroads to Central Asian States and blessed with some of the world's best tourist treasures, rich history, culture, famous archaeological sites, mineral wealth, great potential for trade and commerce activity and has a conducive overall environment for foreign investments.
On the industrial and commercial side, the region is fast moving on the path of rapid industrialization and mercantile activity with a total of 2100 industrial units of all sizes functioning across the province.
Today's industrial progress and achievements within short span of time can be described as phenomenal. There are vast markets for investments in gemstones, minerals, hydel power projects, small, medium and large-scale industries, agriculture, tourism and other sectors.
NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE YEAR NO. OF INDUSTRIAL UNIT 1977-78 260 1987-88 326 1997-98 624 2002-03 1961 2003-04 1964 2004-05 1967 2005-06 2219 2006-07 2236 2007-08 2254
SIGNIFICANCE IN THE ECONOMY
A number of multinational companies have invested in many projects in NWFP. Similarly, some of the projects are run under joint ventures. At present 10 industrial estates including small industrial estates are fully operating having all the infrastructure such as electricity, water, telephone, communication, gas, banking and similar other facilities. Moreover, an Export Processing Zone is operative at Risalpur town near Peshawar providing "One Window" facilities to the international investors. Its basic objectives are to boost up industrialization by encouraging foreign and local investments, promote export-oriented industries, generate employment and develop industrial skills and promote maximum use of indigenous raw material.
The region being gateway to Central Asia is linked with it through land route via Afghanistan and is distant-wise shorter to the European states as compared to Karachi, the port city of Pakistan. This proximity and geographical advantage offer great scope for foreign investment. The NWFP is rich with the world's finest timber, marble, mineral deposits and huge water reservoirs for hydel power. The precious and semi-precious stones notably ruby, emeralds, aquamarine and topaz and other varieties are found in this province, have world-wide fame, and are exported to foreign markets because of their lasting beauty and non-fading magic.
A glance at the industrial scene unveils a large network of industries such as textiles, chipboard, plastic goods, garments, leather, finest quality garments etc. A well-established pharmaceutical industry is fully operating in the province involving both local and multinational companies. To meet growing transport demand, recently production of motor rickshaw has been started. Food, beverages and tobacco have the leading position, followed by textile and leather sub-sector.
LARGE SCALE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION IN NWFP IN 2007-08
INDUSTRY ITEMS UNIT FACTORY COVERED PRODUCTION Beverage Beverages Crates 3 9593404 Cement Cement MT 6 7339248 Ceramics Sanitary Ware Pieces 2 32016 Wall Tiles S.Mtrs. - 2473633 Cigarettes Cigarettes M.Nos 5 20606 Cotton Textile Cotton Cloth 000 Mtr. 15 6481 Cotton Yarn MT - 98605 Electric Bulb Electric Bulb 000 Nos. 3 50540 Fertilizer GSSP MT 1 92380 Jute Textile Hessian -do- 1 639 Sacking - 4142 Twine - 266 Matches Matches M.Boxes 16 5535 Paper & Paper Board Board MT 2 3796 Paper - 5659 Sheet Glass Sheet Glass Sq.Mtr 1 809737 Paints & Varnish Paints Kgs 1 24933 Sugar Sugar MT 4 16772 Cooking Oil -do- 20 31580 Vegetable Ghee Ghee - 338872 Woolen Textile Blankets Nos. 1 89147 Fabrics 000 Mtr. - 1605 Starch & its Prod Corn Oil MT 1 945 Glucose - 8510 Starch - 17036 Source:- Monthly Survey by Bureau of Statistics, NWFP
ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
No government has been able to reduce the developmental gap the province has acquired in terms of other provinces. One of the reasons why the province has these problems is the exacerbating poverty in the province owing to slower economic growth. The major setback for the province is the distance from the seaport. The economy of the province also lacks private investment along with uneducated workforce. The other main issue which the province has been facing is from the war on terror as law & order situation has been worse for quiet sometime disturbing both the economy and the life of common people.
NWFP needs infrastructure development. Its tax income is very limited. If the central government would not do anything to change the fate of the province, the provincial government would also be unable to bring changes. The province as a whole is an inefficient producer. The provincial economy needs to grow at 7 to 7.5% per annum.