FAISALABAD: Fifty per cent of medium-sized industry is either closed or working partially and 40pc out of one million powerlooms have been closed.

Similarly, the organised [textile] sector is also facing a tough situation as out of 350 spinning units, 150 have been closed.

This was claimed by former president of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rizwan Ashraf, in a meeting with participants in 24th Mid Career Management Course of the National Institute of Management (NIM), Islamabad.

However, he did not mention the period when such industries were closed.

He said the business community was contributing its due role for the fulfillment of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). “Apart from contributing heavy taxes and duties to social security [EOBI] we are also helping the government during major national calamities,” he said.

SVP sees opportunities and challenges in CPEC

Mr Ashraf said there were only three domestic flights just two years ago. “But now with the sole efforts of FCCI, 126 international and domestic flights are operating from Faisalabad international airport.”

“A UK-based firm has installed a tin can manufacturing unit in M-3 Industrial Estate. A dry battery unit has also been established while a Hyundai motor plant is expected to be set up very soon,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, FCCI Senior Vice President Farooq Yousaf said: “CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) is an opportunity as well as a challenge. The challenges are very visible but the business community has to dig out the opportunities to make it favourable for Pakistan.”

He said: “We need to face the CPEC-related challenges and tariff rationalisation was imperative to make our exportable surplus competitive regionally and internationally.

Sixty per cent of our youth is below the age of 35 years and they must be trained in different skills to enhance productivity and quality of our products.

The skilled manpower can also be exported to other countries as expatriate Pakistanis are already sending huge remittances playing a major role in bridging the gap between imports and exports.”

“We should adopt a comprehensive educational policy by earmarking 20pc of the [allocated] budget for the conventional side and 80pc for the vocational training so that need-based education could be imparted to the youth,” Yousaf said.

He said Pakistan must protect the industry by launching joint ventures tagged with technology transfer.

“We must impose [a] condition to employ 80pc of Pakistanis in any industry set up by foreigners with a clear focus on technology transfer,” he added

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2017

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