Lahore - PIAF Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has stressed the need for establishing industrial estates and economic zones throughout the country, saying this would put the economy back on track.

“There is a dire need to have a specific industrial policy in place to encourage the private sector to set up industries vigorously to help generate employment opportunities,” he said, adding, “With a view to spur the growth of national economy and enable the government to utilise its resources, the government has to take certain steps to divert investments to the industrial sector.”

Appreciating the groundbreaking of Chunian Industrial Estate followed by the opening of Industrial Estate in Rahim Yar Khan, the PIAF chairman termed the projects as another milestone towards industrialisation of the country as a whole and Punjab province in particular.

He hoped that the initiative of the Punjab government would not only broaden the industrial base but would also boost trade & economic activities in the province.

He said that another industrial cluster in Punjab would not only attract foreign investors to Pakistan, but would also provide an opportunity to the industrialists of south Punjab to expand their industries.

Sheikh said that Punjab government deserved appreciation for fulfilling longstanding demand of the businessmen of south Punjab for setting up an Industrial Estate in Rahim Yar Khan.

While talking on declaration of major roads as industrial corridors, he said that it would be a big breakthrough in terms of promotion of trade and economic activity in the province.

He said it was a longstanding demand of PIAF to provide maximum facilities at industrial zones and it will continue to extend it full support in this regard.

PIAF Chairman suggested that new industrial zones and clusters should be established away from the densely populated residential areas i.e. along the motorway or major roads to accommodate the industry relocating from the residential areas.

He said the area around Lahore Ring Road could also be used for this purpose. These new industrial estates would not only cater to the future industrial growth requirements but also help control the establishment of industrial units.

He said the cost of land in the proposed industrial zones/estates should be substantially less than the cost of land in the urban areas.

He said the proposed industrial estates should have better environment conditions including wastewater treatment, roads to deal with traffic congestion and other safety measures as outlined in the industrial safety strategy.