843 units closed as militancy hits NWFP industry hard
AWAWR (APP) - The ongoing wave of militancy and insurgency in North West Frontier Province has badly hit the industrial sector in the province as in less than one year time about 843 production units closed down.
We had around 1437 operational industrial units in the province till the end of year 2008, but now this number has shrank to 594, disclosed VP of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Muhammad Ishaq. Talking to newsmen here on Tuesday, M Ishaq said most of the industries were affected in Swat district where out of 317 operational units about 287 closed down.
Similarly, he continued, the cottage industry in the province also faced the affects of lawlessness and out of 377 registered units, 288 stopped production. Among these closed units, 115 are marble factories in Mohmand Agency, Ishaq went on to say.
The SCCI official said banks have also reduced lending facility to industry in NWFP because of increasing risk factor.
He said according to figures obtained in Sept 30, 2008 out of total amount of lending by banks in Pakistan which was 852b, only 32b loans were granted to industry in NWFP.
The percentage of lending by banks in NWFP is only 3.8pc, he observed. The SCCI office bearer demanded of the federal government to take measure for revival of industry in the province because, he added, closure of industrial units mean more unemployment which will lead to more crime and anti-social activities.
He said the province should be declared as war affected zone and exemption in taxes and duties should be given as an incentive for revival of closed units.
Muhammad Ishaq also stressed for increasing efforts for implementation of mega projects including ROZs, Special Economic Zone and Pak-China Economic Zone in the province for setting up of new industries.