All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman Mohsin Aziz has said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and India is a need, but it should be subject to the provision of a level playing field for Pakistani products in the Indian market.
Efforts to bring the two economies closer are commendable, as it is high time for the countries to benefit from each other’s potential and increase mutual share in world trade; but it is worth investigating why Pakistani products have not made inroads into the Indian market, he said.
Aziz went on to complain that the high interest rate regime in Pakistan has marred new investments, and subsequently the creation of new products. He accused banks for ‘sitting’ on ‘piles of profits ‘by lending more to the government than to the private sector. He said banks’ policies have resulted in lower-than-required industrial growth and export surpluses in the country. Aziz also protested that the banking sector is only interested in securing profits at the expense of industrial and economic growth in the country.
“The liquidity crunch has put pressure on industry, which is no longer able to run on full capacity,” he said. Furthermore, “Industrial capacity is running idle due to short supply of electricity and gas, and there is no indication as to when this energy crisis will be overcome completely,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2012.