Lesson from China

The economic scenario in Pakistan is not only not bright but also dim, the reason being vested interest right down the line. Thus the two possible contestants for economic supremacy in Asia are China and India. The architect of the Chinese revolution Mao Tse Tung lifted their manpower from abject illiteracy and drug addiction to hard working men of steel, who not only know their job but even deliver the goods, their leaders work China and China alone which, provides every individual with food, clothing, shelter, education, health and security. And according to a Chinese, even then if some body steals, he is a diseased member of the society and he is eliminated.

Mao Tse Tung was followed by another selfless leader Deng Xioaping, whose philosophy was pragmatic and he allowed private property to a certain extent, people could produce what they wanted and could sell where they could find a buyer for their surplus produce as he strongly believed that it was time to provide an opportunity to Chinese people to move forward, he started this programme from Sichuan province, where the farmers were given a free hand under the Town Village Enterprises ( TVE’s ) programme. Which later became the central feature of Chinese economic resurgence. The Chinese did not allow setting up of wholly owned foreign companies, foreigners still rushed to take advantage of China’s vast economic potentials and joined hands with the Chinese TVE’s. The TVE’s are not state regulated, they are rather local community or even individuals run operations even in non agricultural sector. This private partnership theme in modern China covered the entire economic front, which included textile, garments, consumer electronics, computers and automobiles. Which helped China increase its GDP at an annual rate of 10.5 % with its export of $ 68 billions in 1990 reaching upto $ 184 billions in 1999. This philosophy of Chinese administrative set up works right down the line. Let us take a leaf out of China’s book and emulate them into our own system and working. Let us remember the adage é Tomorrow never comes.

In India also, they are in a position to export textile machinery and their delegation is visiting Pakistan for this purpose, while in Pakistan, the Textile Machinery Corporation has been abandoned but privatized also, and the real estate involved will be sold to builders at a premium.

Lots of studies to launch indigenous industry was prepared by PIDC and seeds of self reliance in industrial manufacturing were sown during Zulifikar Ali Bhutto’s days, but it was during the regime of General Ziaul Haq when the Textile Machinery Corporation was formed and its Textile Winding Company was launched at Korangi Karachi with the plant received from Messers Gilbos of Belgium who were renowned first manual cone winding manufacturers later pioneers in automatic cone winder producers. The second was its Spinning Machinery Company at Kot Lakhpat in Lahore with the plant received from Ingle Statt of Germany a name in ring spun frame manufacturing.

Pakistan had not only purchased these plants from Belgium and Germany but later on The German manufacturer Ingle Statt also gave their franchise to Textile Machinery Corporation, whereas India who had also purchased their plant from the same Ingle Statt were not upto the mark in quality and precision to win franchise rights of this German company, which Pakistan had attained. Inspite of this our Textile mills were not ready to buy these items from Pakistani vendors for obvious reasons, a summary was initiated and the matter came up for discussion in meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) which was to decide giving protection to locally made textile machinery with Dr. Mehboobul Haq in chair. In came Mr. A. G. N Kazi with his strong views that the Pakistani investors can not be forced to buy locally made ring spun frames and other items on moral grounds when they were able to buy from abroad. This beneficial matter as usual went into a cold storage because of the intervention of a senior bureaucrat. What was his interest in practically blockading the local machinery entering into textile markets is for any body to guess. Now the textile Machinery Corporations two manufacturing units have been privatized and are lying in the junk yard of the investors to enable them to sell the real estate involved at a premium price later on. Thus the investors have been benefited at the cost of the nation and the country.

It’s a pity now that Pakistan proposes to buy textile machinery from that country who were inferior in quality production, thanks to aptma that they succeeded in providing a graceful liquidation to Textile Machinery Corporation of Pakistan and creating conducive atmosphere perhaps to purchase the same machinery from India by making a junk of our own facilities and threw a large number of people out of job and loss to revenue and utility services consumption.

The need of the hour is not to give protection to multinationals; the case in example is of ICI, which produces inter-alia Soda Ash, 200,000 tons per annum, whereas our total annual requirement is of 270,000 tons or so. ICI have stopped production of Soda Ash in other parts of the world but they are producing and monopolizing this item in Pakistan and have thus been able to earn a profit of Rs. 627 million in 1999. Give protection to our local entrepreneurs on top of it the Chairman of ICI has been also appointed the Chairman of Tariff Committee, much to the dismay of the users of Soda Ash.

Let us think in terms of self-reliance and self-reliance alone, the remedy for which does not lie with any foreign country or IMF and World Bank. It will be we and we alone who have to sink and swim with Pakistan. Let not our teams go out to play matches, let not our bureaucrats, politicians and affluent minority go out of the country for pleasure trips and medical treatments, this requires grit and determination and a selfless leader. Otherwise the seven point agenda will remain only an unfulfilled agenda.

Howsoever Internationally defamed may be the Talibaan of Afghanistan but the political interest of the super power has forced them to reconsider their approach towards their erstwhile enemy. Fate have these turns, let us be honest to ourselves and to Almighty Allah and work for Pakistan and Pakistan alone. Allah will not for sake us, hypocrisy is the worst crime and Allah never forgives hypocrites. People whom God has bestowed some thing upon should realize their responsibilities more, and do not ignore the day of Judgement.

Mr. Ali Ashraf Khan is a Pakistani Businessman and Ex-Politician who bid good bye to politics in order to concentrate on more useful service benefit of the political intrigues prevalent in the National Political life of Pakistan. He frequently writes for English and Urdu newspapers in Pakistan.