About 200 vendors of the tractor manufacturing industry have inducted 15-20 per cent new hands since June to meet the surging production and sales of tractors and the robust future demand.At least 150-200 persons were employed in a single vending unit ahead of June this year. These vendors have also made further investment since then for procuring new tools and machinery. Chairman Pakistan Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers Association (PAAPAM) Tariq Nazir told Dawn from Lahore that the vendors had increased their production of parts and accessories by at least 50 per cent in the last five to six months.
He added that most of the workers had been hired on permanent basis in view of good production and sales prospects of tractors production and sales under various government schemes.
Mr Tariq said that since the tractor companies, having potential to export the farm machine, are not allowed to export directly, some traders are indirectly exporting tractors to Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc for the last six months. He said that if the local industry was allowed to export directly, the vendors industry has the capacity to further increase their production capacity by 10-20 per cent to meet the demand.He claimed that Pakistan was the largest producer of cheap tractors in the world. For example, he said that locally made tractor is Rs100,000 cheaper than the one made in India as the 95 per cent of the parts used in the manufacturing of tractors are produced locally by the vendors. According to figures of Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) the overall tractor sales surged to 26,816 units in July-Nov, 2009 as compared to 20,249 units in the same period of 2008. Out of this, Fiat sold 11,453 units as compared to 11,174 units while Massey Ferguson sales had gone up substantially to 15,363 units from 9,075 units.Overall production of tractors rose to 27,643 units from 21,224 units. Fiat produced 11,918 units as compared to 11,581 units, while Massey Ferguson production went up to 15,725 from 9,643 units.
Senior Executive Officer Millat Tractors Limited and member executive committee PAMA Sohail Bashir Rana linked the improvement in sales to 50 per cent share of the company in the overall 10,000 tractors being delivered to the farmers under Benazir Tractor Scheme. He said due to increasing demand the company had increased its production capacity and the vendors have also geared up their efforts in providing parts and accessories at a fast pace. In the last three years, around 500-600 people got the job in the company directly. He said those vendors, who had suffered decline in sale orders from other auto sectors, had now focused their attention towards production of tractors parts in order to meet the rising demand of the farm machine. Mr Sohail said that the Punjab government had also advertised a Green Tractor Scheme for providing 10,000 tractors to the farmers and the company aims to provide the maximum units under this scheme. He added that the Sindh government had also launched a scheme in which 5,000 tractors would be provided to the farmers on subsidised rates.
He further said that increase in support price especially of wheat to Rs950 from Rs450 has encouraged farmers to buy tractors freely.
Courtesy: The DAWN