LAHORE -  Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) on Tuesday urged the government to form a one-window facilitation commission for establishment of country's first petrochemical complex .

PCMA Secretary General Iqbal Kidwai stated here that the PCMA, since its inception two years back, had been highlighting significance of a petrochemical complex for Pakistan and efforts had ultimately attracted the attention of local and foreign investors to invest in this momentous project, which needed strong patronage and support from government authorities to turn the dream into reality.

A one-window support mechanism comprising all ministries and departments concerned, he added, would not only enhance confidence of prospective investors but also result in speedy completion of this mega venture. The complex , when established, would develop downstream of chemical industry by producing hundreds of high value chemicals within Pakistan, thus gradually decreasing imports of such chemicals with a single first year impact of around USD two to three billion import substitution, he explained.

PCMA Secretary General said that chemical imports of Pakistan amounts to over $11 to 14 billion, which was almost 17 per cent of the total import bill and each year there was an average increase of sever per cent on this account.

On the other hand, the global chemical industry, at present, was a $4 trillion enterprise, which impacts nearly every sector of the economy, he said and asserted that chemical businesses had prime significance in virtually every nation, driving innovation in six continents and supporting more than 20 million jobs.

Unfortunately, due to absence of even a single Cracker complex , down-stream industry of Pakistan was dependent on imports, whereas India established its first Cracker in 1992 and currently it owned eight Crackers, Iran despite the sanctions had been able to put in place seven, Singapore owned five huge capacity state of the art Crackers, and Saudi Arabia owned twelve. But, Pakistan has no Cracker so far.

"Although, we have made considerable progress in basic inorganic chemicals like Soda Ash, Caustic Soda, Sulphuric Acid and Chlorine with sufficient production capacity, however the lack of availability of other chemicals including petrochemicals leads to dependence on imports which surely does not benefit the economy," he concluded.