SMEDA, TDAP joins hands to revive Cutlery Institute of Pakistan

SIALKOT: Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) joined hands to revive the Cutlery Institute of Pakistan (CIP), Wazirabad for providing semi-skilled workforce, Common Mechanical Engineering Facilities, Cutlery Designing & Business Advisory Services to the Cutlery Sector.

According to SMEDA officials, the SMEDA has recently started implementation on four-year long multi-phased project for the revival of this Cutlery Institute of Pakistan (CIP). The project would cost Rs 39.84 million and will end in 2012. Cutlery is one of the important export oriented sub-sector commodities of light engineering sector in Pakistan. The cutlery items including knives, swords, daggers, axes etc. are 100 percent export oriented whereas tableware cutlery is mainly domestic oriented. Table cutlery has the great potential of improvement in exports, provided better manufacturing and marketing strategies are carried out.

Globally the total trade in table cutlery is about US $ 5 billion. Average global annual growth rate is 4 percent. Pakistan at present has a part of only 0.47 percent of the global cutlery trade, which needs to be brought up to 1percent in the next five years with concerted efforts.

According to a survey, the total workforce dependent on cutlery sector is about 50,000 out of which only 20,000 are presently employed. Rising population trend will further complicate the problem of unemployment. The SMEDA and TDAP officials were of the view that Cutlery Institute of Pakistan (CIP) can increase job opportunities by 5 percent directly in four years time, at the predicted rate of training.

Currently there are around 100 units out of which 15-20 were large located in and around Wazirabad along the main Sialkot-Wazirabad dual carriageway. Most of these units are very small and are unorganized. They mostly serve as vendors to large and medium level businesses; the SMEDA officials added. Regarding the Designed capacity and output of the proposed
project, the officials said, training 500 persons per annum at peak output. First year training was of 150 persons. Increase in production capacity of the sector by 5 percent was expected within next two years, i.e. (2010-2012) because of a new Design and Prototyping section at CIP, because of the operational enhancement of the CFC at CIP, because of initiating knives blade grinding, table cutlery polishing, metal work related activities at CIP and lastly because of the start of training for the unskilled workforce at CIP premises and retraining of semi-skilled at their factory premises, the SMEDA officials revealed.

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