(Sept 18, 2020)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday lauded the government and SBP for supporting the manufacturing sector and asked to take more steps to strengthen this sector.
This sector is providing jobs to ten million people but its share in the GDP has contracted to 14 percent which must be noticed, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that manufacturing is on the decline while the undocumented economy is expanding creating problems and dragging down the quality of products.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that this critical sector is overtaxed while it is also facing the increased cost of doing business, unnecessary interference by different agencies and dumping from different countries which is a result of flawed trade deals.
He said that textile is the largest subsector of manufacturing which absorbs almost 53 percent of the undocumented labour that are getting lesser pays than those working in the formal sector.
The people working in the informal sector have to rely on meagre salary and they have no protection, decent working conditions, social security, medical and insurance cover and pension etc.
These working conditions keep workers uncertain and concerned about their future which in turn hurt their production that is reflected in the quality and quantity products they produce, he said.
The veteran business leader said that majority of the investor cannot appreciate the benefits of well-paid labour while the situation in rival countries is different therefore India, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and other countries are successfully grabbing Pakistan’s share in the international market.
Government should reduce the burden of tax on the manufacturing sector and improve working conditions in formal and informal sectors so that they can work with peace of mind and push the country towards progress.