Pakistan could not fully reap the benefits of its strong industrial base which is available in the shape of homegrown cottage industry. Various industrial cities have sprung up across the country without planning and the government support. However, the self-made entrepreneurs do feel the heat of official presence when they are harassed by different government agencies on one pretext or the other. This is a routine in this country and the subject comes under the rubric of administrative failure, mismanagement and corruption. At least 90 percent of the industry is operated by once simple labourers and technicians. Some of the leading businessmen of the country entered the heavy industry with hard work and devotion who had once started their journey from cottage industry. They passed from all odds and hostile events during their travel on the path of business development. Most of the departments and agencies, set up by the government to facilitate the business community, proved their worth nothing more than useless entities. Some even created hurdles in the way of the business community in starch contrast to their national obligations. The people in the departments changed over the period, but the routine remained the same.
According to economists, the cottage industry can lead the country to the first world if it fully utilizes its potentials. The country’s exports of surgical and medical instruments stood at $340 million during the fiscal year 2016-17 which is $10 million less than the corresponding period of last year. The exports of cutlery items have grown by 2.52 percent to reach$82.4 million in the fiscal year 2016-17 as compared $80.4 million during the same period of the last year. The exports of chemical and pharmaceutical products have increased by 9.2 percent to reach $878.5 million as compared to $804.3 million during the same period of the last year.
Pakistan also exported about 44,250 metric tons of fertilizers worth $10 million during 2016-17 and has great potential to export non-traditional commodities. There is also need to tap African and Asian markets to enhance export of homemade products. Only encouragement from the government is the answer.