Turning blind eye towards reality
Neither the previous government nor the present one have taken into confidence the business community about the protection of loabour intensive local industry and providing opportunities of joint ventures to local entrepreneurs with Chinese Companies in the special economic zones which are crucial for the second phase of industrialisation in the country. A delegation of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) led by its President SaboorMalok met with AsadUmer Federal Minister for planning and apprised him about their genuine problems that hinder investment, industrial production and business activities besides the harassment created by FBR officials among the traders. The delegation emphasised the need of serious consultation with trade bodies about joint ventures in the special economic zones which are being set up under CPEC framework.
The Planning minister assured that a policy focused on boosting industrial capacity of country through joint ventures between the local and foreign investors in capital intensive industries and relocation of existing labor intensive industries shall be implemented. Moreover, capacity building of industrial workers shall be done enabling them to handle latest generation technologies. Such like hollow promises have been made during the past four years. Despite the Prime Ministers’ directives about completing the work on new industrial policy till September last year, the policy is yet to see the light of the day. There are no indications that skill development centers will be set up and made operational in the foreseeable future. Regressive taxation regime and high cost of energy inputs are the major discouraging factors hindering industrialisation as these factors have wiped out the competitiveness of local export industry. The ground realities run counter to the promises made for industrialisation.