LAHORE - Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front Chairman Faheem Ur Rehman Saigol has asked the government to provide special incentives to the cottage industry as the cottage industry is the backbone of the manufacturing sector.

He was talking to the delegation of cottage industry which met with him in the lead of Baba-e-Cottage Industry Ghulam Sarwar Malik here at PIAF office. Ghulam Sarwar Malik sought the help of PIAF leadership for the revival of cottage industry. He said that the PIAF should play its role to get the issues of cottage industry resolved at the earliest. He said that cottage industry played a huge and significant role in the overall national economy and generating and giving jobs to millions of people. He said that the government should announce a cottage city where gather all the skilled people in one place and promote this industry with facilities. He said the cottage industry should be given the status of an industry as well as the losses incurred by the industry due to smuggling and under-invoicing should be eliminated.

PIAF Chairman Faheem Ur Rehman Saigol said that the cottage and small-scale industries are labor intensive and provide employment to more than 80 per cent of the industrial labor force. This reduces unemployment and offers opportunities for self-employment. He said that cottage industry also meets the local demands for the industrial goods and saves foreign exchange.

The PIAF Chairman said that the role of cottage industry is important in economic stability of the country and alleviation of poverty and unemployment. He said that the economic revival of the country would remain a dream until and unless the government redesigns its policies and divert resources towards cottage industry.

He cited the example of Bangladesh, China, Korea and the United States where an equal importance is being given to the small businesses. He said that these countries are treating cottage industry at par with large scale manufacturing sector. He said that the PIAF leadership would also have meetings with the top officials of the government departments so that exporters of cottage industry products can get maximum facilitation. He called for a two-pronged strategy to cope with economic challenges. He suggested the government to evolve short-term sector-specific policies to break the economic logjam as it has proved that the longer term policies generally fall prey to political uncertainties.

Secondly, he said that the government should expedite the process of consultation with the private sector as the business community is the real stakeholders and no policy should be announced without due consultation with the businessmen.