FAISALABAD. Foundry is the mother of all industries and we must upgrade it in line with the new global technologies to exploit its export potential, said Dr. Khurram Tariq, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI).
He was talking to a delegation of Faisalabad Foundry Owners Association ( FFOA). The delegation was comprised of Muhammad Ashfaq Ashraf Chairman FCCI Standing Committee on Foundry and Allied Engineering and Mr. Atta Ullah Chairman FCCI Standing Committee on Agri Engineering in addition to Executive Members Haji Abdul Rauf, Haji Ismail, Jaleel Malik, Abdul Razak, Sanaullah, Rizwan Ahmad, Muhammad Abid and Muhammad Yousaf. He said that the future of the industrial sector has been directly linked with the foundry sector and we must try our optimum best to reorganize and upgrade it on modern scientific lines. Similarly, the government should also play its role to facilitate it in consistent and reliable supply of raw material along with necessary tax exemptions. He quoted the example of India where the agriculture sector was taxed to develop its related industrial sector. He said that in Pakistan our per acre yield is almost half as compared to India and thus we failed to exploit its potential. He termed short term policies as a major hurdle in our sustained progress and said that our myopic approach is hindering the conception and implementation of long term policies. He expressed concern that the tractor industry was zero rated but tax has been imposed on small manufacturers of its spare parts and other agri equipment and appliances. He also criticized the recovery of sale tax from zero rated industry and said that first collecting tax and then refunding the same is a useless exercise. He further said that out of the collection of Rs.200 billion sales tax, 100 billion is embezzled by the fraudsters and the real taxpayers have to adjust it in their accounts. He assured that he would evolve a comprehensive strategy for this sector in consultation with Mr. Asim Qadri, President Pakistan Foundry Association (PFA) before the next budget. Responding to a question about the revival of Karachi Steel Mill, he said that apparently it seems impossible, however we could establish at least two new steel mills by selling its assets to provide pig iron to the domestic industry. Similarly, he also assured to streamline the availability of hard coke and said that iron ore has been detected from Chiniot and we must set up a steel mill there to avail this reserve. Dr. Khurram said that the biggest cane crusher of Louisiana (USA) is made in Pakistan and it means that our foundry owners have potential to manufacture world quality products for export purposes. He said that for the business growth it is imperative to involve our new generation so that our practical experience of 40-50 years could be transferred to them. He said that FCCI was ready to extend full support to the local foundry owners in this regard. Earlier Mr. Ashfaq Ashraf said that the foundry sector of Faisalabad has been manufacturing agriculture appliances and water pumps in addition to the sophisticated parts of textile and other machineries. However, he admitted that they failed to introduce new technology in this sector. He said that Mr. Asim Qadri of PFOA is expected to visit Faisalabad next week and he would try to arrange his meeting with Dr. Khurram Tariq. Haji Muhammad Aslam Bhalli was also present during this meeting.