ISLAMABAD

The unending power shortage has severely hit the production of the industries, as the growth of large scale manufacturing (LSM) sector has went down by 8.9 percent in April 2014 over the preceding month.

The country is witnessing massive loadshedding of up to 18 hours a day in different parts, which has not only made the masses lives miserable but it also resulted in massive decline in production of the industries. The large scale-manufacturing sector has posted negative growth of 8.9 percent in April 2014 over the previous month of March 2014, showed the latest figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Thursday.

The decline in output during the month under review is a matter of concern because the manufacturing sector posted a positive growth over the past few months. Earlier, the government had provided improved power supply to the industries after clearing circular debt worth of Rs 480 billion, which helped in enhancing industrial growth.

However, power shortage has once again reduced the growth of LSM sector. The government has claimed to achieve 4.1 percent economic growth rate during outgoing financial year 2013-14 on the back of better performance of the LSM sector. However, independent think tank -Institute of Policy Reforms - in its report accused the government on figure fudging, as IPR noted that growth rate for 2013-14 was significantly overstated, especially in the cases of large-scale manufacturing (LSM), construction, wholesale and retail trade, finance and insurance.

While compiling the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2013-14, PBS included LSM growth during the first eight months of the fiscal even though it had figures for the first nine months. According to IPR, LSM growth fell down to 2.7 percent in March. Consequently, the nine-month LSM growth rate for the outgoing year was 4.3 percent, as opposed to the eight-month growth rate of 5.3 percent.

The country’s GDP rate figure might further come down if the government includes the figures of LSM sector of April 2014 wherein its growth declined by 8.9 percent.

According to the latest figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the Quantum Index Number (QIM) of LSM industries stood at 122.43 points during ten months (July to April) of the outgoing financial year 2013-14 period as compared to 117.35 points of the corresponding period of its preceding year, showing an increase of 4.33 percent.

The PBS compute LSM figures on production data received from the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (comprising 11 items), Ministry of Industries and Production (36 items) and the Provincial Bureaus of Statistics (65 items).

According to the PBS figures, growth in LSM was mainly driven by 11 categories of items in the July-April period of 2013-14 over the corresponding period of last year. Major contribution towards positive growth was from textile 1.41 percent, food and beverages 8.16 percent, petroleum products 6.04 percent, paper and board 10.18 percent, fertilizers 20.44 percent, electronics 4.11 percent, iron and steel products 5.05 percent, leather products 11.7 percent, chemicals 6.34 percent, non-metallic mineral products 0.06 percent and rubber products 10.46 percent.

Meanwhile, some sectors like wood products witnessed a decline of 16.95 percent, engineering products 19.82 percent, pharmaceutical 0.34 percent and automobiles 0.24 percent during the months under review.

In electronic and electrical goods, production of refrigerators recorded a growth of 2.31 percent; deep-freezers was up by 54.41 percent; air-conditioners 20.45 percent; electric motors 23.83 percent and switch gears 75.17 percent during ten months of the outgoing financial year over the same period previous year.

However, following of the goods registered negative growth, electric bulbs 0.62 percent; electric tubes, 100 percent, electric fans, 1.59 percent, electric meters 19.59 percent, electric transformers 60.53 percent and TV sets 9.86 percent and bicycles 11.21 percent during the period under review over the same months last year.

Meanwhile, in automobile sector, tractors production was down by 31.11 percent and buses 0.21 during the period under review over the last year.

The production of trucks however was up by 32.67 percent, jeeps and cars 1.01 percent and LCVs 26.42 percent and motorcycles 3.2 percent during the July-April period in 2013-14 over the last year.