Tractor industry striving for revival

Sindh Tractor Scheme

Salim Ahmed

Lahore

As the tractor industry of the country is still waiting for any government support scheme, promised at the time of budget; it is also being denied opportunity under Sindh Tractor Scheme, as the share under scheme is apparently not being fairly distributed by Sindh government.
Already, it is for years now, the tractor industry is striving for revival from the adverse impact of taxation, that the present production figures of 53975 units are still way behind the pre taxation figures of 70770 units that were achieved years ago. The imposition of tax, resultantly, it not only overturned the momentum but the growth, already achieved, was also lost.
As such the industry always looks up to opportunities of growth under the schemes announced by provincial governments, presently, Sindh Tractor Scheme. However, reports are abound that the quota, under the scheme, is being allocated by Sindh government in a surreptitious manner to the favorite ones, as has been the case at the time of previous scheme; controversy about which has not yet subsided.
It is to be noted that Sindh Government, in the past, has been under severe criticism for introducing Tractor Schemes that lacked transparency. It was only after an outcry from farmers and also complaint by PAMA on the irregularities in Sindh Tractor Scheme then, Sindh Government allocated only 6200 units to be divided equally amongst all local manufactures only to silence the protesting companies.
It has been learnt that NAB is also investigating the irregularities of the previous schemes; so much it is important now for the authorities to exercise due caution. The farmers were expecting that the provincial government must have learnt the lesson and would refrain from forcing them to buy any particular brand.
“The best option is government should let this be the choice of the customers i.e. farmers, to choose freely from amongst the available local brands and the Sindh Government should not interfere with the market mechanism in this regard” said the DG PAMA.
He added that any undue support to any particular brand would not only be unfair but would defeat the purpose of the scheme and result in waste of resources as the farmers may end up buying a shoddy product.
Tractor assembly industry in Pakistan has long been in existence, so farmers are well aware with the standing of one brand against the other in terms of their general performance, credibility on quality, and value for their money.
Therefore in the interest of best use of available resources the uplift of tractors may not be bound to any particular product; rather the available funds are placed at the disposal of the market allowing the farmers to buy freely any product of their choice, this would ensure optimal use of funds and success of the scheme.

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