There is an urgent need to attract local and foreign investment in agro-based industries, as 70 per cent of Sindh’s population depends on the farming sector, Acting Governor Sindh and Speaker of Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said on Saturday.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the third Livestock, Dairy, Fisheries, Poultry, Agriculture and Culture Exhibition (LDFA-2013) at the Expo Centre here, he called for exploring new markets around the world for boosting exports of agro-based, earning more foreign exchange.
Stressing the need for modernising the province’s agriculture sector, Chairman of Sindh Board of Investment Muhammad Zubair Motiwala said that Sindh’s rural areas had an immense potential for attracting investment, adding that the private sector should tap this potential.
Terming the creation of public awareness key to boosting the growth in agro-based sectors in Sindh, he said that the provincial government was offering lucrative opportunities to bring in investment in these sectors. Motiwala expressed the hope that the LDFA-2013 would help attract business deals worth billions of rupees. Provincial Livestock Minister Agha Taimoor said that progress was not possible without boosting exports.
Former Secretary SBI Younus Dhaga highlighted the board’s achievements over the past four years. Director-General of SBI Riazuddin said that Sindh’s vibrant economy needed to be promoted, adding that there was also a need to provide innovative solutions to investors.
On this occasion a cheque of Rs 300 million was given to Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Kazi Abdul Muktadir for launching a Balancing Modernisation and Restructuring (BMR) scheme for Rice Husking Mills in Sindh. After the launch of the scheme, farmers could obtain soft loans from National Bank of Pakistan, Sindh Bank, Allied Bank Limited, HBL, UBL and MCB Bank.
While assuring legal protection to investors, Kazi Abdul Muktadir emphasised upon the need to harness the potential of agriculture sectors in Sindh, adding that the SBP would provide finance assistance at low mark-up rates. Minister for Rehabilitation Muzzafar Shijra, KCCI president Haroon Agar, Sindh Bank President Bilal Sheikh, foreign diplomats and a large number of businessmen and investors also attended the ceremony.