PSMA demands opening of industries on alternate days

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LAHORE: Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association (PSMA) has demanded the government to open on alternate days all industries involved in the manufacturing of soaps, as manufacturers cannot meet production orders amid closure of related industries.

Talking to this scribe, PSMA Chairman Zafar Mahmood highlighted that the soap industry is facing severe distribution issues since wholesale markets and shops are closed due to lockdown.

“We don’t have a problem in importing raw materials, but without the opening of local industry, it is not possible to start the production process.”

He elaborated that production of caustic soda, ink, chlorine and plastic packaging is necessary to produce soaps.

“Soaps have proven to be efficient against Covid-19. Multinationals or large-scale soap manufactures are encashing from the current situation through their representatives but the real problem is with small industries where businesses depend solely upon sales.”

He said the government has been talking about ‘smart lockdown’ but has so far not implemented it, adding that the entire soap manufacturing chain should be made operational on alternative days with strict SOPs and action should be taken against those violating them.

Speaking about the problems faced by the industry, he said, “We have enough quantity of ethanol available in Pakistan and now we need to export our hand sanitisers and soaps. We export our ethanol on cheap rates but if we manufacture soaps and hand sanitisers from ethanol, the country could amass valuable foreign exchange through exports.”

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