LAHORE: Government’s lack of support to the logistics and supply chain industry results in a loss of 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per annum. This was concluded by experts at the ‘1st International Conference and Exhibition on Logistics and Supply Chain Management’. They said logistics and supply chain is the lifeline of the country’s economy.
The conference was organised by Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA), Air Cargo Agents Association of Pakistan (ACAAP) and Publicity Channel on Tuesday.
Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industries Vice President Iftikhar A Malik, while speaking as the chief guest, expressed his concern over lack of initiative on part of business community to improve the air, sea, rail and road logistics and supply chain system in the country.
He urged the private sector to get up and face the challenges rather than looking at the government to strengthen the logistics and supply chain management in the country.
While outlining the problems faced by the logistics and supply chain management, Moin Ahmad Malik, a logistics expert, said that India had been ranked on top as the logistics hub owing to implementation of government’s supportive policies and decisions taken at the right time, while Pakistan was positioned at the bottom among South East Asian countries.
He said the only available option of goods transport was through trucking system. However, he said that trucking was an unorganised sector and corporate sector was not ready to take over this mode of for the simple reason that government had completely ignored this sector.
He said that up to 30 to 35% of the perishable goods like fruits and vegetables during transportation from farm to market were lost due to lack of cold chain system.
He emphasised the need to prepare trained human resource by establishing vocational training institutes to streamline road transportation sector in the country. He further urged the government to recognise freight forwarding as an industry.
ACAAP Chairman Tahir Malik also criticised the government for failing to improve the air freight to support the business community, which was contributing billions in taxes every year. Due to lack of facilitation in air freight by the government, he said, the business community was inclined to go for foreign carriers and providing a business of $1.5 billion per annum to various foreign airlines.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2011.