The meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production was held on Wednesday for a comprehensive introductory briefing on the working and performance of the Ministry of Industries and Production.
Chaired by Senator Ahmed Khan, the meeting was attended by Senator Naseebullah Bazai, Senator Sitara Ayaz, Senator Kulsoom Perveen, Senator Anwar Lal Dean, Senator Keshoo Bai and other senior officers from the Ministry of Industries and Production along with all concerned.
The Committee was informed that the Ministry’s mission was to play the role of a facilitator in Industrial development and entrepreneurship through policy interventions. Development and training of human resource came under its mandate as well.
With a vision to achieve efficient sustainable and inclusive industrial development, the Ministry operates under Allocation of Business under rules of Business 1973. Functions devolved after the 18th Amendment is explosives, Industrial Policy, Boiler and Price Control.
Describing the role of the Ministry in CPEC it was revealed that the Joint Worker Group (JWC) on Industrial Cooperation has been formulated and Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) has been appointed the convener of this working group. The Committee was informed that the Ministry is an important member of this working group and the JWG shall play a key role in implementing the decisions made at the leadership level of the two countries in expanding mutual industrial investment, coordination and cooperation. Chairman Committee was of the opinion that instead of importing steel and other material used in the CPEC project, it would be extremely helpful to Pakistan’s economy if products and material manufactured locally are used.
Senator Kulsoom Parveen while lamenting the deplorable state of Steel Mills said that the government must do all in its power to revive this enterprise. Chairman Committee Senator Ahmed Khan directed that a detailed meeting must be held on Steel Mills and that likewise many other industrial sectors according to cities must be discussed indepthly.
Senator Sitara Ayaz asserted the need for training. She said that the country has a dearth of skilled labour and to capture national and international labour markets training of human resource on a government level is imperative. She also recommended the revival of enterprises such as SMEDA, Aik Hunar Aik Nagar and other such endeavours.
The Advisor to Prime Minister for Industries and Production, Commerce, Textile Industry and BOI Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood was of the view that no country has ever developed without exports and to move ahead it was imperative that the export sector be promoted and explored. He further stated that deindustrialization is a major issue that the country contends with today. He added
that the Ministry’s prime objective is to curb industrialization and support SMEs.
While discussing increased duty tariffs on import of raw material, Mr. Dawood termed rapid changes in duty tariffs a major impediment for industries in Pakistan. He assured the Committee that once the National Tariff Plan is formulated there will be no change in duty structure for at least 3 years. He further stated that to move ahead an export driven industrial strategy must be pursued.