LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to establish a new small industrial estate and an artisan village to promote cottage industry and craftsmanship in Southern Punjab.
The decision was made in the 108th board meeting of the Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) on Thursday. The meeting was presided over by the Punjab Minister for Trade and Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal.
Besides various financial and administrative approvals, the meeting approved the establishment of a small industrial estate on 50 acres in Rakh Choti Dilana in Dera Ghazi Khan and an artisan village in Taunsa Sharif over an area of 16 kanals.
The meeting also decided to constitute a committee to review and examine the Chief Minister’s Self Employment Scheme executed by the Akhuwat Foundation. The committee will submit its recommendations within the next two weeks after a detailed review of the scheme and decisions about the scheme would be made in light of the committee’s recommendations.
Speaking on the occasion, the minister expressed hope that the artisan village would promote the local heritage through nearly 400 artisans of the area.
He also ordered completion of development work in the small industrial estates as soon as possible.
He proposed to establish another artisan village near Kartarpur Corridor to promote local merchandise among Sikh tourists visiting their holy sites near Narowal.
The minister instructed the officials to make all the PSIC centres operational across the province, including the defunct Furniture Design Centre in Chiniot.
“Another industrial estate will be set up on Lahore-Sialkot motorway as industrialisation process is important to revitalised trade and economic activities,” he asserted.
“It is for the first time that the provincial government has shifted development focus from the provincial capital and central Punjab to the south,” the minister claimed.
Last month, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had inaugurated or laid the foundation stone of at least 13 projects mostly in South Punjab costing over several billion rupees.
He claimed that 141 projects of Rs60 billion in DG Khan are a record.
Buzdar hails from South Punjab and has served as the district nazim of Taunsa Sharif from 2001 to 2008.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2020.
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