LAHORE: Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said the government has accepted the challenge to offset looming economic crisis besides reviving the industrial sector and restoring the confidence of investors, while generating new jobs to 10 million unemployed youths through skill development programmes.
He was talking to Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq at a reception dinner hosted in the honour of Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar by PTI Central Vice-President Ch Muhammad Ashfaq here at a hotel. Federal Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan was also present on the occasion.
The CM said that the government would take all available resources to boost small and medium business in the province on top priority. “Poverty has been swelling in the country and the only solution to control inflation is to flush out rampant corruption by taking draconian action against those indulged in corrupt practices,” he added. He said that Pakistan had the talent but lacked the skills. “Our government’s main focus will be on skill development so that the Pakistani people can perform their best not only for their own country but also in foreign countries,” he said.
Usman Buzdar said his interaction is imperative in order to determine how our industries are faring and to see how they can better be supported through government interventions? He said Pakistan loses a huge amount of foreign exchange to importation; this we can reduce by encouraging our local industries to grow by patronising them. The government would also ask the authorities concerned to provide more visible support to furniture business in terms of simple and easily obtainable grants for exhibiting and travelling to trade shows and promoting local export as a success globally.
Appreciating the role of PFC in promoting furniture sector in the country, the CM Punjab said Pakistan furniture industry has a big potential to dominate global markets with innovative designs and could make a substantial contribution of billions of dollars export annually.
PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq said that the market potential of Pakistan’s handmade furniture is huge, and that the government should make policies in accordance with this. He stressed on the importance of controlling for increased costs, fluctuating economy, consumer ignorance, and defective legislation as major hurdles for correcting market instability. He said the demand of Pakistani furniture articles in international markets is on the rise and there is need to focus on provision of raw wood and proper training to carpenters.
Mian Kashif Ashfaq apprised Chief Minister Punjab of issues and challenges small and medium business community are facing especially those who are running furniture business inside the country.
“The government should give financial help to furniture makers in Pakistan to visit international markets which will provide them ample chances to explore new avenues by sharing vision and expertise for the formulation of future policies, economic studies, sectors and project specific reports besides promotional efforts,” he concluded.