According to news reports, the Finance Division has obtained the approval of the prime minister to wind up the company which was responsible for the development of the Pakistan Textile City in Karachi. The prime minister has constituted a committee to prepare recommendations for the appropriate steps leading to the closure of the project. However, the National Assembly Committee on Textile Industry has expressed its reservations over the government decision and has pointed out mismanagement and corruption as the main causes of the failure to take off the project.The fact remains the government has lost its interest in the venture, but mentionspaucity of funds as the reasonfor the closure. The National Assembly committee has also called for selling out 250 acres land, which was allocated for the project,to pay outstanding debt which exceeded to Rs 2.4 billion. It is a routine of the government policymakers to launch projects with great enthusiasm, use and misuse public funds,but close them at the end. Billions of dollars have been spent on various development projects, including Nandipur power station and no one is there to fix the responsibility of the losses.
A Chinese company is going to invest $9 billion in K-electric and instead of winding it up, the textile city project can be handed over to foreign companies to make it operational. The precious public money is blatantly used scot-free as no corrupt official or politician has ever been convicted in the country. The company responsible for the execution of the project now owes billions of rupees to the National Bank. At a time the countries in the region are attracting huge foreign investment, Pakistan is lagging behind in every field of economy. How the cherished goal of prosperity can be achieved when most of the policies falter in the beginning. The idea of textile city was in line with basic requirement of the country as Pakistan has already achieved GSP status and European textile brands could have been invited to set up their units in the city. Bangladesh has emerged as the second largest textile apparel exporter in the world just in few years. The question is why the Pakistani government cannot achieve the same status.
There is still time to offer tax relief and concessions to foreign and local investors and all the thrust should not be on the collection of revenues. Still the losses can be covered if appropriate steps are taken. The closure of the project means administrative failure and prove that the government is unable to launch any venture of the national importance.