Lahore—The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, while appreciating the new industrial zone of 2,000 acres in Chunian, has asked the government to also establish separate industrial zones for SMEs and cottage units, besides revival of sick industry across the province. Irfan Iqbal, chairman, Tanveer Ahmed Sufi, senior vice chairman and Khawaja Shahzeb Akram, vice chairman of the PIAF said the revival of sick industrial nits would also provide jobs to the jobless if the government provide them with required working capital to take benefit of the GSP Plus status from the European Union.
Irfan said the Chinese investment in Pakistan is a welcome step which would increase manifold in the days to come and a number of projects were being completed in Punjab with an investment of billions of dollars by the Exim Bank. PIAF chairman said Chinese financial institutions were playing a historic role in the promotion of Pak-China cooperation through timely and uninterrupted completion of projects in Punjab. He said that Chinese investors will set up factories in the industrial park spreading over an area of 2,000 acres under the agreement. He said there was a need to explore new avenues for strengthening contacts between the two countries.
He said that the export of value-added products had decreased significantly due to under-utilization of existing operational industrial units which need to be operated at their full capacity. He said steps should be taken for the revival of sick units by giving them working capital so that they could increase the exports. He said revival of such units would open jobs for unemployed youth as well.
Irfan proposed that the existing industrial units should be exempted taxes. New industrial zones, estates and clusters should be established away from the densely populated residential areas, especially alongside motorway or major roads to accommodate for relocation of industry from residential areas. The cost of land in these industrial zones should be less than the cost of land in the urban areas and should have better environmental conditions. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that Punjab Industrial Estates Development and Management Company (PIEDMC) should take steps to utilize the available space in existing export processing zone to set up new clusters for SMEs and cottage units.