National Industrial parks Development & Management Company (NIP), through its state-of-the-art industrial zones, is all set to solve the problems of the industrialists, says NIP CEO Mohsin Syed. Here are some excerpts from a recent talk with him on a wide range of issues.
Please tell us something about NIP. What are its objectives?
It was during the tenure of Punjab’s former chief minister Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi in 2003-2004 that Jahangir Tareen organised a meeting with the Lahore chamber to discuss ways and means to give a new impetus to industrialisation and to increase employment. I suggested that the government be kept out of the process and the private sector be allowed to play its role freely and effectively. This is how the Punjab Industrial Estate was conceived.
Our team created the Sundar Industrial Estate and renovated the Kot Lakhpat Industrial Estate. We brought a paradigm shift with 70% help from the private sector and only 30% managerial help from the government. In Sundar, if you want electricity, you will get two megawatts within seven days without any bribes or hassle.
We decided to implement the same model all over the country and thus NIP was born. Industrialists at NIP are given a free hand in manufacturing, marketing and selling their products. Whatever they need, will be provided by NIP through one window.
What hurdles do you face?
At times we face the problem of land ownership where computerised land revenue system is not available. But this problem will be solved with the computerisation of land records. For instance, we have not faced the problem of title deeds while buying a land for an industrial park at Sheikhupura, as its records are now stored in computers. But we did face some social problems in Karachi which have been solved now. In the following years, we endeavour to develop an industrial zone of international standards near the city.
What steps are you taking to overcome power outages?
NIP will ensure that all industrial units get uninterrupted supply of electricity. There will be a comprehensive backup system and electricity will be interrupted only when it switches over to the backup system.
What projects are you working on?
Our flagship project is the Korangi Creek Industrial Park, for which we have taken guidance from JURONG. JURONG is a Singapore-based organisation which created the JURONG Industrial Estate. They have advised us to make two zones, low density and high-rise. The low density zone is reserved for industrial units, while the high-rise will have ground plus 19 floors to accommodate high-tech electronics, gems and jewellery and software factories and companies. This is a new concept for which we are in search of investors who can develop such buildings.
What is Pakistan’s future in industrialisation?
It took me a year and a half to set up my factory, because I had to find the right location to start the business. But with the development of state-of-the-art industrial parks, potential entrepreneurs will not have to waste time in selecting an ideal place to start. Location should not be the reason for people to delay any business ventures.
Karachi is full of enterprising people and we plan to give them an environment where they can utilise their potential.
The root cause of terrorism is poverty. If we can succeed in eradicating poverty, the menace of terrorism will automatically fade out. We have to set up training institutions in our industrial zones and establish vocational training centres where the youth can acquire skills to work to reduce the burden of their homes.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2013.
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