Comprehensive master plan needed for industrial revival- Mahfooz Elahi

  • December 23, 2010
During the last three years, decline in the industrial sector growth has been one of the major reasons of the lowest GDP growth rate of Pakistan in the region, thus micro and macro strategies are needed to be re-developed for the industrial revival and to achieve sustainable industrial growth, Mahfooz Elahi, President has said, addressing a group of industrialists at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The President said that the country is in dire need of a result and growth oriented Industrial Policy to get out of the economic crisis and to promote investment addressing the vital factors that are restraining the industrial growth in the country.

He said that Government had declared financial year 2009-10 as a "Year for revival of industry" but unfortunately no positive measure was taken for revival rather than putting existing industries under more pressure due to increase in gas and electricity tariffs and load shedding.

Mahfooz Elahi said that governments of Malaysia and Bangladesh in their industrial development plan, have given tax exemptions to industrial units, besides providing certain other lucrative incentives to investors. These measures have resulted manifold increase in investment and industrial production, whereas contrary to these initiatives, industries in Pakistan are being burdened with heavy taxes and duties making these even uncompetitive with neighboring countries like India, China and Bangladesh.

He said that interest rate should be reduced to single digit to provide easy credit facility to industrialists. High potential industries should specifically be provided easy loans on low markup rate as an incentive. Public-private partnership should be encouraged for setting up new industrial estates, he opinioned.

Mahfooz Elahi said that targets for a period of 5 to 10 years should be set for revival and growth ensuring consistent supply of electricity and gas, exploiting the available energy resources and laying the network of small dams across the country.

He said that Pakistan should move away from comparative advantage to competitive advantage based policies. He proposed to form core groups of the representatives of Chambers and Associations of all provinces and one point agenda discussion should be held on monthly basis to find out workable solution of industrial revival. He emphasized that government must announce a consolidated business policy of consistency to give a clear road map for economic development.