SIALKOT: Metal Industry Development Centre MIDC had been lying non-functional for the last 15 consecutive years at Sialkot due to which more than a century old surgical industry of Sialkot had been facing several problems including the nonavailability of the advanced technology and skilled work force for this industry.
Chairman Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan SIMAP Bilal Tanveer and Convener Central Advisory Board CAB for MIDC Muhammad Jehangir Bajwa have expressed grave concern over the prolonged non-functioning of MIDC at Sialkot.
They have urged the Punjab government to ensure the early functioning of MIDC, saying that the early installation of much delayed advanced heavy machinery worth Rs.223 million at MIDC and revamping of the training institute at MIDC Sialkot would prove itself as “fresh blood” to be injected into the century old surgical industry which was in dire need of technology up gradation and skilled labour work force.
Talking to the newsmen at SIMAP here Monday, they revealed that the then British Government had established MIDC at Sialkot in 1941 72 years ago to institutionalize the local expertise of surgical instruments and provide common facilities to the surgical instruments manufactures of Sialkot region. They added that MIDC had helped surgical industry to shift basic metal products to precision surgical instrument manufacturing.
They narrated that MIDC had been lying non-functional for the last 15 consecutive years due to non up gradation of the technology.
Bilal Tanveer and Muhammad Jehangir Bajwa added that now the said MIDC was under the direct control of TEVTA department of the Punjab government. The provincial government was spending Rs. 223 million for providing the advanced heavy machinery at MIDC Sialkot for boosting the surgical industry. They added that the process of this revamping of MIDC was started in 2009, which was to be completed in December 2011 but still remains, victim of inordinate delay in installation of the said machinery there due to the paucity of the funds.
They said that almost 80 percent of the advanced technology machinery had been procured through tenders and installation of this machinery was much slow in pace. Overall 75 percent of this project had been completed but the rest of the project was lying victim of inordinate delay. They added that TEVTA had established a building for giving training of the advanced skills to surgical workers with a sole aim to provide a skilled labour work force to surgical industry of Sialkot. They added that the surgical industry of Sialkot was in dire need of advanced manufacturing technology and especially the skilled work force.
Surgical Industry is an export oriented and craftsmanship industry which is more than 100 years old. Manufacturing of Surgical instruments in Pakistan started at the turn of the 19thcentury.
They revealed that Surgical Industry was producing over ten thousand different medical instruments, besides, covering all sections of Surgical, Dental, Veterinary, Beauty and so many other products.
About 500,000 people directly or indirectly are getting benefits from this industry. 99 percent production of the surgical industry was being exported to all over the world, as surgical industry was earning US $ 300 million foreign exchange for Pakistan, they revealed.