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The new industrial policy.

The New Industrial Policy

In his first address to the nation Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that tax holiday would be enforced throughout the country, to create congenial atmosphere for free industrialization. The Prime Minister said that his government would also transfer nationalised sick industrial units to the private sector, which were not only an impediment in the way of free industrialization in the country, but also a burden on the national exchequer. It was ironical, he said, that these sick units were eating away billions of rupees of public money.

He wished that even the defence equipment should also be produced by the private sector, leaving aside only sensitive material. Pakistani industrialists, he said, were capable of producing everything within the country. If private companies of other countries would produce defence material for Pakistan why this could not be done by the Pakistani industrialists themselves, he asked.

Nawaz Sharif also announced that the domestic and foreign entrepreneurs, setting up new industrial units in the country would be given complete tax holiday, with the condition that they would take responsibility of the health and education of the workers and their children. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the present oppressive economic system would be changed under which millions of people in the country were groaning. He said that this cruel system would be replaced by the economic system of Islam based on justice which could bring happiness on the face of the common man. He said it was his faith that so long as happiness and prosperity was not reflected from the face of a common man, the face of Pakistan could never glow with happiness.

Nawaz Sharif made it clear that the enforcement of Islamic principles would practically be implemented. He said that Zakat and Ushr would be utilised in fulfilling the needs of the deserving persons and for the education of the children. He said that the government was bound by constitution as well to enforce Islamic laws. He said he was mentioning those bright and golden principles of Islamic Shariah which could bring equality and create equal opportunities for the society and the priciples which could eliminate the poverty and ignorance.

About the industrial sector, the Prime Minister said, his government intended to lay foundations of an industrial revolution. "The corner stone of this policy will be that each factory, firstly, gives the peasants who produces the raw material and the labourers their due remuneration". He said, the investors would be duly encouraged. "The foremost gift for them is, freedom. The cumbersome bureaucratic hurdles and processes are being done away with. The necessary infrastructure requirements will be made available - a crash programme about which will be announced and implemented shortly. Industries are not established through formulation of policies alone, they entail certain basic requirements. The industries are not set up without bare facilities of roads, water, electricity, telephone, air linkage and raw material - my government will do everything possible to extend these basic civil amenities, so as to expedite pace of industrialization", he added.

"The only demand I shall make of the industrialists is - come upto the expectations of the nation", Nawaz Sharif said. the foremost priority, in respect of industrialization, would be so that only such industries would be preferred as were agro-oriented. These industrial units would be established only in and around such belts which produce necessary raw materials. Such a step would also benefit the local population gain profitable employment opportunities, while the peasant would be able to earn due return for his produce. Hence, the rural population could be able to get affiliated in nation building task, and become prosperous. On the other hand, civic amenities would reach the rural areas, which would stop trend of rural migration towards the cities.

The Prime Minister said he was fully aware of the magnitude of varied common problems. He said, it was unfortunate that majority of the people were unable to pursue their academic pursuits, mainly due to poverty, "while those getting education somehow, are faced with the dragon of unemployment' he said. This, he said, led to a vicious circle ending in a sense of denial and unbearable frustration. He also referred to the evil of drug addition which had snatched a bread earner from its dependents. "We cannot let our valuable, national wealth the youth destroy itself, due to the rampant social evil of drug abuse, he asserted. In this regard, he declared, his government ws committed to eliminating narcotics and take steps to rehabilitate the drug-addicts. He said, a positive leap forward, in this context, would be to revive the shattered self-confidence of the drug-addicts. On the other hand, merit alone would be the qualification for admissions in higher educational institutions, while those deserving and qualified alone would be inducted into government service, he announced. The Prime Minister said, deserving and orphans, however, would have special quotas, in respect of admissions to educational institutions and service. Nawaz Sharif said welfare of the youth will be part of his future policies. "They will be imparted different vocational trainings and granted loans to enable them to start their own business.

Price Hike

Nawaz Sharif assured the nation that his government would strive hard to protect the poor masses from the current worldwide wave of price hike, especially on essential items. He said that he had started examining various proposals in this regard. He, however, categorically said that every endeavour would be made not to allow increase in the prices of atta, vanaspatighee, cereals, pulses and cotton cloth. Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan had been plunged into a difficult phase due to the Gulf crisis, as she had to bear an additional burden of two billion dollars (Rs. 40 billion). Besides, there are problems of rehabilitation of Pakistanis uprooted from there and the worldwide prices of oil had also doubled. Pakistan was also not safe from its impact, he said. He said that it was the increase in the prices of oil, due to which the nation would be confronted with a new wave of general price hike.

He asserted that the present government had no hand in this situation. Pakistan had also become victim of this vicious wave, which could not be blunted. Efforts, however, could be made to save the poor people from it, he said, assuring the people that his government would take all necessary steps to do that. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan had talented experts, whose knowledge and services would now be utilized for the benefit of the poor. It was unfortunate, he said, that the advantage of their services had henceforth accrued to the well-to-do people. He said these experts would recommend to the government as to how the poor people could spare of the current wave of price spiral and how the affluent classes of society could be further burdened to meet the budgetary deficits, so that the poor could be fed, and clothed.

The Prime Minister said that these were the immediate measures to obviate the impact of the price hike. The real diagnosis and solution to this problem would have to be done by undertaking the task of national reconstruction and progress. He said that he proposed to do some emergency planning in this regard. Mr. Nawaz Sharif, however, declared that historically, the hour of decision had struck, and the nation had to decide once for all, whether it desired to live as a self-respecting people, like free and sovereign nation, or it wanted to roam about the world with begging bowl. He said the present government strongly felt that the only course open before the nation was the course of self-reliance, that was the course of self-respect, he said, adding nations and individuals had to render sacrifices for their self-respect. He, therefore, urged the people of Pakistan to inculcate spirit of simplicity, austerity and hard work, to achieve this cherished goal of self-reliance. Nawaz Sharif said he would not like to paint rosy pictures as the coming days would be of trials, tribulations and perseverance. He asked the nation to be ready for them.

The Prime Minister said that those, who led lavish and extravagant lives, at the cost of their younger generations' future, were selfish. He had firm faith in and commitment to the future generations and his government would therefore, never resort to anything which would amount to bartering away the future of the younger generations, he said, adding "we will lead an austere life at the present, so that the future of the coming generations may be glorious and prosperous". He emphasized that the paucity of resources did not mean that the nation should become vagrant. "We will expand our resources, as a self-respecting nation and turn the future of our future generations prosperous and glorious", he said.

PHOTO : Nawaz Sharif
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Title Annotation:Pakistan's Islamic economic policy
Author:Sharif, Nawaz
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Nov 1, 1990
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