LAHORE: The future of the cottage industry level sewing machine parts manufacturers is at stake as traders now prefer imported brands as compared to the locally made sewing machine parts.
At a gathering of engineers here in Lahore, engineer Zubair Ahmad said five years ago most of the sewing machine parts were being smuggled from India, while finished Indian sewing machines also were available in the Pakistani market. “Currently China is the main threat for cottage sewing industry of Pakistan,” he said.
Engineer Mohsin Syed said the cottage industry has no alternative but to fight for survival. He further said that cottage level sewing machine parts manufacturers are the lone local suppliers.
Meanwhile, the local sewing machine manufacturers are also under threat. The engineers said that due to some miscreants who revamp old machines and resell them as new, the entire industry’s future is at stake; as the quality of locally made machine has been put in doubt.
Engineer Farooq Iftikhar said that there are some manufacturers that produce 10-15 sewing machines a day. He said they get the machines assembled from skilled labour and pay them Rs500 per machine as assembling cost. He said manufacturers making more than 10 machines a day have built their reputation as quality producers.
However, he said, many unscrupulous manufacturers have come up in the industry that revamp used machines and sell them as new. He said the price they charge for these machines are Rs2800-3000 per unit compared with Rs3900-4100 charged by quality producers.
Iftikhar said: “Most of these machines are sold to the public sector as all provincial governments buy sewing machines from the cottage industry manufacturers, from the Zakat fund, to distribute them among widows and destitute women”.
“This practice should be stopped as these machines wear off after a few months use” he said, adding the government should at least set some standards for procurement of sewing machines as these are given to poor women so that they could add some resource in the family income.