Booster for light engineering | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 05, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 05, 2011


Booster for light engineering

Power supply and patenting crucial

Industries Minister Dilip Barua has put a well-merited emphasis on light engineering which traditionally came lower down the order of priorities with successive governments. Resultantly, the sector, mostly confined to informal private initiatives, received a half-hearted approach, at best and, a lip-service at worst.
But there has always been a strong potential for light industries to grow in the country. Apart from a pioneering enterprise in the sector with prospects for backward linkages to SMEs, a light industrial baseline has existed rather quietly behind the scene.
For instance, the knock-down technology mastered in Dholaikhal over the years and its ingenious improvisations have been head turners even for qualified engineers. The self-made technicians with the sleight of their hands backed by acquired knowledge of the basics disassembled, reconstructed and welded worn out machines into near perfect working order. They have rendered a great service to repair and maintenance sector.
Basically, they make do with old, discarded or dubiously procured machines and their parts. If this sub-sector is formalised with assured supply of machines and tools, some skill training and financing, they could be manufacturers of new light engineering products.
That is not where all our attention should be concentrated, it is just one window of opportunity before us to be boosting light engineering. In fact, the focus should be largely on the entire gamut of light engineering sector developments displayed at the international light engineering technology trade show at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre organised last Wednesday. A hundred industries from Bangladesh, India and China participated in the fair exchanging notes and placing their products in the context of advancements made in terms of industrial and engineering equipment, materials, services and technologies.
The government's recognition of the light engineering in its industry policy as 'a thrust sector' should be followed up by bank-rolling and easier patenting procedures interspersed with reliable energy supplies.

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