Immediate Ban On Furniture Import Urged

Immediate ban on furniture import urged

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News -6th Sept,2016) : Pakistan Furniture Council (PBC) has urged the government to impose immediate ban on the import of furniture in a bid to provide new lease of life to this industry as well as to fully exploit its potential for earning foreign exchange.

Pakistan imported furniture worth of Rs 1.69 billion in 2015-16, which is a mere consumption of the hard earned foreign exchange. Chief Executive of PBC Mian Muhammad Kashif Ashfaq told APP that the import of furniture items could also create a viable threat of unemployment in local furniture industry.

Keeping in view the huge potential of the industry to grow, the PBC head said if the Pakistan furniture industry is given special attention on the government level, it can contribute significantly to the GDP and employ numerous people with varying skills in specialist furniture.

"Despite its contribution to the Pakistani economy, furniture manufacturing suffers from lack of recognition at a political level", he said. "PFC is also continuing its work to develop a Pakistani presence in more countries and to act as the focal point for Pakistani furniture designers and manufacturers to enter international market," however, he said adding that it requires concerted efforts to ensure that raw material is available, skills are taught and quality control is achieved.

The furniture export at the present level is very nominal and it is far behind than the actual potential. The furniture export during July 2016 was recorded only at $334,000 while it was $341,000 in July 2015 and $571,000 in June, 2016 thus showing a decrease of 2.05 per cent and 41.81 per cent respectively.

Mian Kashif said Chiniot in Pakistan is well known for its beautiful wood carved furniture and brass inlays and the city alone meets 80 percent of furniture demand in the country. Pakistani craftsmen have the skill to create exquisite bespoke pieces but standardizing that production to meet the requirements of international markets requires input from the Pakistan Furniture Council, he added.

Pakistan's wood industry is well developed and captures 95 per cent of the country's total market for furniture. He said the country has more than 700 units of wooden furniture with Chiniot,Gujrat, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi being important centres.

He said more than 80 percent of the furniture demand in the country is met by the Chinioti furniture. This industry, combined with the handicraft industry, is employing about 50,000 people.