ISLAMABAD – Construction industry plays a vital role in reducing unemployment as it is a prime source of employment generation offering job opportunities to millions of unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled work force. Therefore, Government needs to develop a national construction sector development strategy for harnessing the true potential of the construction sector in the country.

These remarks were made by Asad Farid, Acting President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in a statement. He said that increasing construction activity in the economy could have positive effects in allied industries such as cement, iron, steel, marbles, electrical and sanitary works, horticulture and transport and millions of jobs could be generated during the chain reaction process.

He said that continues cuts in PSDP had created more hurdles in the way of already sagging construction industry and any further cut in PSDP would surely hit the construction industry. ICCI Acting President said that the potential to generate employment in this sector has not been taken seriously in the past, nor ever decided to revitalize it as a vehicle for economic revival.

Asad Farid said that this sector has taken a steep plunge during the last two decades as its total share in GDP went down from 4.2 percent to just 2.4 percent. He said that major factors responsible for a downturn in the industry include exorbitant increase in the prices of raw materials, shortage of funds for public sector projects and scarcity of financing opportunities.

He said that negative growth in the foreign investment would adversely affect the country’s economic growth. Therefore, Government should encourage foreign investors to invest in construction industry of Pakistan which would bring the country out from the current serious economic turmoil, he maintained.

ICCI Acting President urged the Government to offer the basic facilities to the construction industry. He pointed out that the construction sector in the country may be revived by launching projects like new dams and powerhouses and improving the infrastructure.