Government should devise a new policy to arrest the downward slide of large scale manufacturing sector – Mian Shaukat Masud

  • June 23, 2009
Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in a statement stressed upon the government to devise a new policy in consultation with business community to effect a turnaround in the downward slide of Large Scale Manufacturing (SLM) sector, which recorded an overall negative growth of 8.24 percent in the first ten months of outgoing fiscal year. He said manufacturing was the second largest sector of the national economy which contributed 18.4 percent to the country’s GDP and if urgent remedial measures were not taken for its revival, efforts of improving economy and attaining competitive growth would meet with failure. He said Pakistan’s manufacturing sector had good potential to compete in international market in terms of quality, but it had not been able to get its due share in the world market due mainly to the high cost of production in the country. He said providing relief in budget to automobile sector was a positive step and all other sectors of manufacturing needed similar support of government.

ICCI President said it was now widely recognized that the key to achieving self-reliance and economic independence through import substitution in major areas lied in the better performance of manufacturing sector. Its benefits to the economy included generation of employment opportunities, socio-economic uplift of the country, increased export earnings, improved trade balance and the saving of foreign exchange. But to achieve all these benefits, there was a dire need of policy change, he opined. He said making large-scale structural changes, supporting high value added industries, encouraging investment in upgrading technology and bringing diversification were the steps needed to improve the LSM performance. He said these measures would help ensure sustainable growth of our manufacturing sector in the rapidly changing & highly competitive international environment as well as to get rid of current stagnation.

Mian Shaukat Masud said reducing cost of doing business, providing loans on soft terms, ensuring uninterrupted power supply, improving law & order situation, lessening the burden of taxes, developing domestic demand etc. were the other essential requirements to make possible a turnaround because lack of these very things contributory factors in causing major decline in LSM sector.  He said ICCI had repeatedly pointed out to the government that acute shortage of electricity, deteriorating law and order situation and high markup rates were heavily denting the overall economic activity in the country and there was a dire need to take corrective measures but the situation had turned from bad to worse for want of any well directed remedial steps. If more time was lost in inaction, all production and manufacturing activities would come to a standstill, he warned.