Addressing a meeting of Industry and Enterprise Sub-Committee meeting of National Advisory Committee of Planning Commission that was chaired Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri , Planning Commission Private Sector Development Member Asim Saeed said that the planning ministry, as the government’s investment arm, is keen to align private sector demands with the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
Mr Saeed urged the private sector to be forthcoming so that its demands-based proposals may be incorporated in the PSDP through relevant ministries.
The PSDP is an important public intervention to spur private investment by way of developing human capital and improving the infrastructure. The PSDP is aligned to the overall long-term development objectives of the government. Economically viable PSDP financed projects help boosting economic growth by bridging infrastructure and skill gaps.
Speaking on the occasion, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Chairperson Rahat Kaunain Hassan, advocating the significance of a mapping exercise to find out private sector’s needs, noted that CCP had not received any report of an industry being uncompetitive due to Covid-19. This indicates the resilience in our industrial sector, she remarked.
Dr Suleri emphasized that a better coordination and cooperation between the public and private sector is the need of the hour to resolve various issues being faced by the private sector. The sub-committee is one such forum that may serve as a bridge between both sectors. This bridging is critically important, especially to foster trade and business activities after Covid-19, he added.
Managing Director, Hub Leather Asfandyar who was also present at the meeting said that the leather sector, especially the retail side is showing improvement owing to the swift reopening of the lockdowns. However, a number of challenges persist on the demand side. He also stressed the need to focus on the retail side of the sector.
CEO, Unique Medical System, Ashraf Malik notified that the second wave of Corona in the EU and USA had resulted in lower demands from these regions. MA Jabbar, Chief Executive, Qaim Automotive, emphasized the need to provide SMEs, incentives and stimulus package that are at par with the large-scale industries.
Rabia Zia and Amir Saleemi who were representing Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) opined that the timely provision of gas and electricity along with other infrastructure can give a push to the industries. FIEDMC has been serving as a key government entity in developing and diversifying the economy of Pakistan through the creation of industrial zones. It was formally registered under company’s ordinance in 1984 with aim to foster economic development and has currently undertaken three projects of national importance. These include Value Addition City, M-3 Industrial City and Allama Iqbal Industrial City.
During the meeting, the private sector representatives unanimously requested for an amnesty scheme for manufacturing and industrial sector similar to the construction sector amnesty package. They were of the view that a conditional amnesty to invest in industrial and manufacturing projects would foster Pakistan’s economic growth.
The government also seems eager to facilitate the business community in every possible manner as there is enormous potential for the private sector to capitalize on the existing opportunities.