The President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Sheikh Muhammad Arshad has raised alarm bells at the severe downturn in the tractor industry. He expressed these views while talking to a Lahore-based delegation of leading tractor parts manufacturers headed by former LCCI Executive Committee Member Mumshad Ali on Thursday.
A large number of small and medium entrepreneurs who are also members of the Lahore Chamber have raised serious concerns at the apathy of the provincial and federal governments with regards to the tractor industry crisis, he said.
He said the agriculture is the very foundation of the national economy and governments of developed and developing countries around the world support this sector. Without the government incentives, this strategic sector cannot sustain itself, he said and added that agriculture output is weather dependant and goes through cycles of over and under production and therefore long-term government support is imperative.
He said that in the absence of appropriate loaning by Zari Taraqiyati Bank Ltd (ZTBL), and provincial government support to the farmers for procurement of tractors in Punjab, there is a little hope of revival of the tractor industry that could result in unemployment and decline in revenue of the government.
The tractor industry has tremendous export potential and contributed Rs 40 billion to the national economy last year, besides employing 500,000 skilled work force. He urged both the federal and Punjab governments to take a holistic view of the problem, and come up with long term solutions to the issue of erratic and now dwindling tractor demand. Arshad said that contrary to Pakistan in neighbouring India, agriculture sector remains the corner stone of preferential policy of successive Indian governments.
Tractor sales trend in India is on a steady growth path for the last many years with tractor production which is 12 times that that of Pakistan. When horse power per hectare is compared, Pakistan stands at 1.5 Hp/hctr, whereas in India it is 2.5 Hp/Hctr resulting in better crop yields. He asked both the federal and Punjab governments to come up with long term solutions of tractor industry crisis.
Source: Business Recorder