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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group and Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum President Mian Zahid Hussain Monday said the improvement in the industrial sector is limited to Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) therefore steps should be taken to boost medium and small industries.

He said that better economic situation has also increased imports which should be kept under control to keep the deficit in acceptable limits.

He said that LSM has shown a growth of 22.4 percent from July to March that includes construction, automotive, textile, pharmaceutical and food sector.

The economy is improving but it is not creating enough jobs therefore SME development should be focused, he said, adding that low-interest-rate environment and controlling pandemic is very important to ensure economic development.

Mian Zahid Hussain noted that wheat, sugar and cotton has become importable items on which billions of dollars are being spent which call for radical changes in agriculture policies

He further said that petroleum products are the top imports which can be reduced by local exploration and refineries so that import of finished products can be reduced.

Machinery is the second-highest import item but it is mainly focused on mobile imports while small-scale manufacturing is confined to assembling cell phones while the neighbouring country is among six top cellphone makers in the world.

The third-largest import is that of food group, edible oil worth 1.8 billion dollars was imported from July to March and tea worth 393 million dollars was imported despite bright potential in Pakistan.

He said economy is improving due to steps taken by the government.

Timely steps to combat the pandemic would have resulted in good numbers but it was delayed, he observed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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