Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) have acknowledged the decision taken by Punjab government in favor of automobile industry by allowing tractor industry to start operating.
PAAPAM highlighted that the sector cannot operate beyond April without granting exemption to downstream suppliers.
PAAPAM Chairman Capt Muhammad Akram (Retd) said that a large number of tractor parts manufacturing SMEs and association members have asked to convince the provincial government to let their supply chain operate as early as possible so that they can support the country’s agriculture sector.
He added that main hardware and machinery markets of Brendth Road, Hall Road, Badami Bagh, and Daroghawala are main suppliers to the tractor industry and should also be allowed to operate.
Former Chairman PAAPAM Engr Mumshad Ali expressed grief that this sector had been under pressure for the last 2-3 years, with declining in tractor sales and Covid-19 has hit this industry hard at its peak sales season, in the midst of the wheat harvest months of April and May.
He further said that If this sales season is missed due to lockdown, this year will be the lowest sales season in well over a decade for the tractor industry. Besides this it will also impact next year’s rice and cotton yield adversely as non-availability of tractors and parts will delay the sowing.
He stressed the need to allow the entire supply chain, which includes materials, tools, and lubricant suppliers to operate with proper precautions against Covid-19 so that the harvest and sowing window is properly utilized. This industry provides direct and indirect employment to approximately half a million people in the country, mostly in the Lahore and its adjoining regions, and besides meeting local demand Pakistani tractors are also being exported to many countries of the world.
He also urged the government to resolve two main issues being faced by the industry i.e. low demand, stuck up refunds, which both affect cash liquidity of the industry.