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.

CONCLUSION

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.