Industrial sector needs Comprehensive Master Plan for revival

FAISALABAD (September 17 2010): Crisis-ridden industrial sector needs a “Comprehensive Master Plan” for its immediate revival with tax exemption for 10 years, said Mian Muhammad Latif, Chief Executive Chenab Limited and former Chairman, Faisalabad Dry Port Trust (FDPT), while giving a briefing to National Management Officers at Dry Port here Thursday.

He said that the governments of Malaysia and Bangladesh have given 10 years exemption from taxes to industrial units set up in these countries, besides providing certain other lucrative incentives to investors which has resulted manifold increase in their industrial production whereas the industrialists in Pakistan are burdened with heavy taxes and duties and they cannot compete with our close rivals, India, China and Bangladesh in the international markets.

He said that over 50 percent industrial units of the country have become in-operative due to interrupt and unscheduled loadshedding and disruption of the gas supply. Continuing, Mian Latif said that despite all these odds, we could surpass the export target of 17 billion dollars, rather increase the exports up to 25 billion dollars per annum, by using the existing installed capacity of machinery provided the government give some lucrative incentives and concessions to the exporters. He demanded of government to ensure round-the-clock supply of electricity and gas to industries, especially those engaged in exports.

He said that the Federal Minister for Commerce, Makhdoom Ameen Fahim, has not so far paid a single visit to Faisalabad, which the second biggest industrial and business hub of the country, while our Minister for Finance, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, is entangled with IMF to sort-out conditional ties of the loans and the only Federal Minister who frequently visited Faisalabad and held meaningful dialogues with leaders of the trade and industry was Rana Farooq Saeed, Minister for Textile Industry, who formulated a unique and compreh-ensive’Textile Policy’ in consultation with these trade and industry leaders.

Responding to a question, Mian Muhammad Latif, said that before creation of Faisalabad Dry Port, the number of exporters in this populous industrial-cum-trade centre was not more than a dozen but after inception of Dry Port, the number of exporters in Faisalabad has risen to over 300. He said that henceforth this country’s biggest dry port was doing a roaring import and export business but due to industrial crisis and low industrial production, the business at this dry port has also decreased but we hope it would pickup very shortly.

Chairman, Office-Management Committee FDPT, Iqbal Akbar Khan, while responding to another question, said that the duties and taxes in Malaysia, Bangladesh and China are much lower than that in Pakistan due to which their exports have become manifold. He demanded “even play field for Pakistani exporters and drastic decrease in the electricity and gas tariff thus enabling the Pakistani exporters to compete with our close rivals India, Bangladesh and China in the international market and help boost our exports.

Earlier the Customs Collector Faisalabad gave briefing to the National Management Officers. The officers of DMG and other groups including Muhammad Arshad, Imran Afzal Cheema, Altaf Ezd Khan, Faisal Shahkar, Ghazala Imran, Khalid Sarwar, Khizer Mir, D Khalid Pasha, Muhammad Qayyum and Shahnaz Nawaz participated in the briefing. -brecorder