IN what could be termed as a major step towards promoting the industries – the second largest sector of our economy- Economic Coordination Committee at its meeting on Friday approved reduction in the prices of gas for the industries. In fact, provision of low cost energy to the industrial units is not only imperative to bolster industrial growth but also make their products competitive at the world markets.
The countries which have made tremendous success in the manufacturing and industrial sectors are the ones which provided all-out incentives to their industries including ensuring them universal, secure and affordable energy. Present government since assuming the office in fact has taken some practical steps in this regard including exempting the industries from power outages and providing tax incentives to the ones establishing new industrial units. Now its decision to provide cheap gas to the industries, we believe, will go a long way in strengthening the industrial base in the country which in fact is vital to enhance our exports which currently are on the dwindling path and create job opportunities for the youth. To enhance our exports, the government also needs to fully support the SME sector with provision of credit at low rates as the backing of this sector is important not only to address poverty but also help ensure financial inclusion of so far deprived segment of the society. In addition, we also need to pay more attention towards producing a truly skilled force that meets the present day industrialization requirements not only at home but abroad. Then we believe the government especially the Ministries of Industries and Commerce need to interact more closely with the business community and prepare a complete plan of action that addresses the genuine demands of the industrial sector. By fully facilitating this sector, we can truly turn the private sector into the engine of growth. This in fact has become all the more important given the opportunities that will be offered by the completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.