CHI - Various projects worth millions of dollars in Balochistan, NWFP and partly in Sindh have been found
stagnant due to the sheer ignorance of the Board of Investment (BoI), the Trade Develop Authority Pakistan
(TDAP), Balochistan Development Authority (BDA) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development
Authority (SMEDA), The Nation learnt on Friday.
Interestingly, all the bodies also have funds reserved for provinces besides NFC awards, yet the question of
non-utilisation of those funds arises and it is ironic that the potential industries of mining, iron, chromites, marble
and others in NWFP and Balochistan are ignored deliberately.
The mining industry (metallic and non-metallic) in Balochistan is in dire need of plausible exploitation by the
federal and provincial govt as currently only individual mine owners are struggling hard to sustain on their own
without any support from these institutes.
The export of chromites stands currently at some $150m annually, while cooper and gold exports influx some
$200-250m to the national economic stability, yet both the sectors could be more viable if they get support by the
provincial and federal govts. Both of the industries have very high prospects, which can be used to convince the
foreign investment, but the provincial govts have limited funds.
Fisheries industry in Balochistan currently gives 150 million dollars in terms of exports while it has the potential to
be extended up to 200 to 300 million dollars annually. Moreover the stone industry (granite, marble, onex, sand,
limestone etc) requires proper care as the mine owners are taking measures to get orders from Italy and China
on their own.
Some 200,000 labourers was working in stone sector in NWFP before the current unrest, while it has around
7000 small and medium scale factories all over the country.
The livestock sector has never been exploited which has some 300 million dollars annual export potential for
Arab World but the sad factor is that currently Halal meet has been imported from China.
It was found that most of the projects which have been established with heavy finance are now matter of past and
have been used for entirely different purpose like Pak Iran Textile Mills at Uthal and Bolan Textiles Mills,
Balochistan are now agricultural and IT universities.
The Asian Development Bank founded fish harbour at Pisni with some 200 million dollars that is now inactive
and has no ownership from the federal and provincial governments.
Balochistan development Authority is busy in the projects (road building etc) which are not meant to be done by
the institute of such stature, and it is pertinent to mention that the machinery which was imported for marble city
has been laying dormant and was not used for ages. Moreover, the desalination plant is mainly found on the
papers of BDA and has not been materialised.
Similarly the ship-breaking industry at Gidani is in mess and the labour approximately 12,000 to 13,000 working
there has no incentives. All those institutes charter is to promote investment according to the resources and
other conditions for the sectors which are in dire need of investment, but they are working the other way round
and have been focusing on already established sectors which are not in accordance to their charter of formation.