Pakistan Observer

Al-Ghazi, Millat tractors close down manufacturing units

Monday, December 19, 2011 - Lahore—Two main tractor manufacturing units Al-Ghazi Tractors and Millat Tractors have suspended their production after plummeting of their sales as levy of 16 percent GST has made the farm machinery costlier and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited has stopped tractor loans to the cash starved farmers for the past two years. Millat Tractors Limited and Al-Ghazi Tractors Limited account for virtually all of industry’s yearly output of more than 72,000 tractors.

A senior executive of Millat Tractors told that tractor sales nosed down to 12,000 from July to December 2011 as against 30,000 tractors during corresponding period of last year. The industry sold 70,770 tractors from July 2010 to June 2011, he added. He said tractor manufacturers have suspended procurement of parts from their vendors as there are already several thousand unsold tractors dumped at their plants and countrywide dealership network.

Tractor prices surged by Rs100,000 to Rs. 200,000 a piece depending on engine horse power after imposition of 16 per cent GST in March last year plunging the industry in turmoil and endangering investment of billions of rupees, he added.

He said since ZTBL had suspended credit to farmers for purchase of tractors for two years and high interest rate of commercial banks’ loans, tractors are being purchased only by those limited number of affluent growers who pay net cash. He lamented that prices of cotton have suddenly fallen to a new low, farmers are not getting payment of sugarcane produce in cash, on the contrary, prices of fertilisers and other agri-outputs have skyrocketed, therefore the cash deficit small farmers have no money to purchase tractors.

The executive suggested that the Punjab government should provide tractors to the unemployed people instead of taxis as a tractor is economically more useful and employment generator than a car/taxi Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers Manufacturing held an emergent meeting here on Friday to review the socio-economic impact of tractor manufacturing units closure in the short and long run as they have stopped buying parts of tractors from the vendors spread all over the country.—Agencies
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