Thursday, August 06, 2015 – Islamabad—Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production on Wednesday was informed that Ministry of Industries and Production (MOIP) had tabled new automobile policy to Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet for formal approval. “Under the new policy, the auto manufacturers in the country would be required to meet the international standards of safety measures including introducing airbags and anti-locking braking system (ABS) even in 800cc vehicles”, Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, Muhammad Arif Azeem informed the committee.
He informed the committee that currently the car manufacturers had no restriction regarding the safety measures but after the approval of the new policy, the automakers would be bound to meet the minimum international safety measures. Regarding Ramazan Package at Utility Stores, the Secretary informed the meeting that the government provided a subsidy of Rs 1.328 billion on the daily use at these stores across the country. The meeting, held under the chairmanship of Senator Hidayatullah, questioned the quality of the commodities at the stores and urged the Ministry to further improve the quality of the items.
The Secretary, however said that he himself had visited the stores for many times but did not found any such things. He said during the month of Ramazan, the Ministry did not receive complaints from any area of the country regarding shortage or quality of the commodities. Giving detailed briefing on SMEDA’s working, the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said that the SMEDA had very limited resources with a total annual budget of only US $92 million.
Comparatively, he said in Japan, the similar organization had a total annual budget of $10 billion while in India it had $109 million while Turkey had $38 million of budget. The CEO informed the committee about one of the success story saying that in Multan it helped the private investors to launch two plant for processing mango pulp. He said earlier Pakistan’s share in the world mango pulp market was almost zero but now within three years those two plants were now producing over 9500 tonnes of mango pulp.
The committee recommended the government to promote and expand the network of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority to boost business activities for more job creation in the country. “Pakistan has immense potential in various fields but due to lack of resources, policies and commitment, huge chunk of the resources goes waste”, Senator Taj Haider said. If SMEDA is given more resources, it can be helpful in encouraging private entrepreneurship to exploit the potential of the country, he added. The meeting was also attended by Senators Chaudhry Tanvir Khan, Kalsoom Perveenn Rahila Magsi, Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Hari Ram and Taj Haider.