MoIP to present case to incoming PTI government for revival of EDB

The EDB, which was a part of MoIP was disbanded after allegations of corruption and malpractices surfaced and creating roadblocks in the way of investment of billions of dollars

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) voicing optimism is set to present its case to the incoming PTI government to reverse the disbandment of Engineering Development Board (EDB) by the previous government.

The EDB, which was a part of MoIP was disbanded after allegations of corruption and malpractices surfaced and creating roadblocks in the way of investment of billions of dollars, reports Express Tribune.

The disbandment took place after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) in 2017, which was presided by ex-PM Nawaz Sharif.

As per an official, a leading businessman from Lahore who was establishing an auto plant under the auto policy 2016-2021 filed a complaint with the PM that EDB was creating obstacles in the way of taking required approvals.

Also, the official said EDB needed to implement the auto policy 2016-2021, however, it created impediments which dissuaded potential new entrants, who had carried out 80-90 percent work and imported machinery for establishing auto plants in the country.

The unwillingness of EDB to give approval compelled new entrants to file a complaint with the government, which led Sharif to demobilize EDB with immediate effect.

In the meeting of the energy committee, Mr Sharif was apprised EDB wasn’t conducting its duties and had been unable to undertake relevant steps to regulate and promote engineering enterprises.

It was also highlighted; widespread wrongdoing was prevalent in EDB and businesses were being exploited by its staff.

Moreover, the meeting was informed EDB was becoming an obstruction in improving the ease of doing business and promoting an enabling environment for industrial expansion and economic development.

After deliberations, it was decided to EDB wasn’t serving any useful purpose and had become an impediment to good governance, hence Mr Sharif called for its dissolution with immediate effect.

MoIP reached out to ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the restoration of EDB before a cabinet meeting in April this year, but the request was rejected.