The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a widespread global shutdown, halting major economic activities that depressed demand and disrupted supply chains. The manufacturing sector was one of the hardest-hit segments from COVID-19.
This was said in a joint development conference held on Friday, where the Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Minister for Industries & Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, and Special Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood addressed the conference. The press meet was called in concern to the PTI’s performance of three years.
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The ministers said that the government’s thoughtful decision to resume the business activities and adoption of smart lockdown boosted the business sentiments, and the economy gained traction after witnessing a hefty decline in FY2020.
Targeted fiscal and monetary incentives accompanied by related support packages helped speed up economic recovery.
On the industrial front, there was a significant rebound in economic activity as Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) grew by roughly 15 percent. The growth was attributed to the accommodative policies by the government in the form of industrial support packages, relief to export-oriented industries, duty exemption under China-Pak Free Trade Agreement-II, and electricity and gas subsidy for the export-oriented industries.
The government intends to boost LSM using the Auto policy. It is expected that approximately 300,000 automobiles will be produced during 2021-22 and will reach up to 500,000 by 2025. It will be further augmented through the development of all allied sectors through SME policy under which fiscal and financial incentives, including financing without collateral, will be provided. This will help grow the LSM sector exponentially.
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Industrial parks are being set up across the country, the most notable amongst which is the Karachi Industrial Park on 1500 acres of PSM land, which will cost around Rs. 7 billion. The project will tap the mercantile spirit of Karachi as the industrial park will provide a Plug-and-Play environment to future investors, the speakers at the conference said.