ICCI for promoting cottage industry to overcome economic problems

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Monday stressed the need for promoting cottage industry saying that a little attention towards this industry could help the government get rid of many economic problems including unemployment and poverty.“Cottage Industry has the key importance in the development of the country as it holds a fundamental position in rural set-up besides gaining immense importance in cities and towns,” ICCI President, Mahfooz Elahi said while addressing the business community here.He was of the view that cottage and small-scale industry (SME) were labor intensive and provide employment to 80% of the industrial labor force adding that it also reduces the unemployment and offers opportunities for self-employment.He said that the cost of doing business was touching the sky therefore it was imperative for the government to extend help to the cottage industry and announce special electricity tariff to help it compete in foreign market.Pakistan’s cottage industry has gained immense importance world over, he said adding there was a great demand for hand-woven carpets, embroidered work,brassware, rugs and traditional bangles in the international market.He suggested that a program for developing and promoting cottage industry both in rural and urban areas was more feasible as compared to large scale industry that need huge resources.Elahi said that cottage industry make effective use of local raw materials which promotes primary industries and urged upon the government to announce incentives to relieve the industry of multiple challenges it has been facing.President ICCI said that there was an urgent need for implementation of techniques which not only enhances productivity but also help skill development of the laborers and fulfills requirements of the local market.“Government should provide subsidies to promote cottage industry especially in the preliminary stages – APP