ISLAMABAD : Small Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has established 27 Help Desks to provide guidance to new industries as part of its steps to promote industrial growth in the country. These desks ensure guidance for project identification, implementation, business development services, business information, business match making, assistance in fund raising and counseling on Legal and regulatory procedure.  It has also prepared around 170 pre-feasibility studies to facilitate potential entrepreneurs in project identification for investment, sources at SMEDA said here on Sunday. 

They said Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) has established zones to promote industrialization and increase foreign exchange earnings. Three new industrial zones are also being established.

Moreover, the sources said National Industrial Parks Development & Management Company (NIPs) has established six world -class industrial parks to enhance the growth of industrial sector.

Highlighting the other measures adopted to promote industrial growth, they said for redressal of technical problems, an Industrial Research Programme (IRP) was being run in collaboration with local engineering, universities, researchers etc. and integration of local manufacturing sector with the international players to become part of global supply chain.

The other steps included cost of financing and doing business was brought down through lowering interest rate and dollar - rupees parity while tariff rationalization is being done to reduce the cost of doing business and to bring in new technology for product diversification and enhancing efficiency in the industrial sector. They said heavy dependence on imported furnace oil is being reduced through increased supply of natural gas and coal based power generation to reduce the cost of electricity in the energy generation mix.

This would have a positive impact on industrial growth. The sources said the government was taking remedial measures to restore law and order situation especially in Karachi, the main hub of industrial activity.They said a data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed that industrial growth rates in the country from financial year 2009-10 to 2013-14 witnessed decrease as compared to 2007-08.

The growth rates during 2007-08 and 2008-09 remained 8.5 and -5.2 respectively.

They said domestic as well as external factors are responsible for relatively slower growth in industrial sector.  The main causative factors and reasons for low growth rate are: high cost of doing business/increase in the cost of financing, increase in the prices of coal and petroleum including furnace oil due to increased international prices, thus rendering the local industry uncompetitive, Shortages of electricity and gas which effected the production in industrial sector, global recession, demand compression in the export sector and law and order situation in the country which resulted in cancellation of orders.