Progress on Metal Craft Artisans Village 'unsatisfactory', says monitor - Pakistan Today

Progress on Metal Craft Artisans Village ‘unsatisfactory’, says monitor

–Establishment of project in limbo as ‘physical progress lesser than financial progress’

–Directorate General Monitoring and Evaluation report says hiring of human resource not satisfactory either

–Recommends enhancing machinery, manpower and material at site

LAHORE: Punjab Directorate General Monitoring and Evaluation (DGM&E) has placed its observations regarding the project “Establishment of Metal Craft Artisans Village” on Sheikhupura Road, according to which, the project’s physical progress is lesser than the financial progress and hiring of human resource is not satisfactory either.

Sources told Pakistan Today that the project had started in September 2015 whereas it was to be completed by June 2018 that was later revised and extended to June 2020. The project was launched with an aim to save the heritage and development of handicrafts complexes and villages while also focusing on the promotion of the metal craft industry.

“The project was also aimed at capacity building of artisans through training, workshops and recognition of the cultural significance of metal crafts besides enhancing the image of artisans and providing employment opportunities to 250 craft artisans as well as soft term credit facility,” they said.

However, according to a monitoring report issued by DGM&E on February 8, the physical progress of the project is lesser than the financial progress. “The project quality plans, checklists and approved methodologies are not available at the site and there is no site laboratory or lab equipment,” the report stated, adding that quality control tests were not performed either.

“The hiring of human resource was not satisfactory and only 50% of hiring was completed. The objectives of the project remain partially achieved because most of them would be substantially achieved upon the completion of building and subsequent workshops at the site to attract clusters and industry players in an effective way.”

The report further revealed that most activities of the project were underway at Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) Office (mainly development of crafts) because of the non-completion of civil work on the site.

“None of the training of artisans has yet been held there either. Furniture and fixtures were not procured yet while it was expected by December 2018. Lease agreement for artisans and application form for artisans were vetted legally but yet to be finalised by PSIC steering committee to initiate loaning facility and allocation of workshops’ space to 34 artisans.”

DGM&E in its recommendations stressed enhancing the machinery, manpower and material at the site. “Fast-tracking or buffering techniques should be adapted in order to complete the project. The hiring of human resource should be completed to manage operations effectively. There should be the completion of all procurements to manage the daily operations.”

“One post of marketing assistant director should be introduced in PC-I as the project rationale is to bring awareness of the dying art to local industry/institutes and involves extensive promotions/exhibitions both nationally and globally. As the craft industry mainly targets a niche market, a documentary of such crafts should be made and correlated with this project’s objectives to invite the interest of the target market and prospective buyers.”

The report further recommended that institutional arrangements may be increased to promote research and development in the field as per the latest trends of crafts worldwide. “It will help this project to make new innovations in the craft industry and bring new concepts from the world in this field as well accordingly.”

“There may be a calendar of promotional activities/exhibitions/training to increase the project’s awareness and products extensively. Civil work and site may be completed and made operational as a priority as it has already suffered prolonged delays due to earlier legal issues regarding land acquisition. As this project involves liaison with exporters and international embassies, coordination with the respective chamber of commerce of Pakistan may also be ensured periodically through some events/campaigns,” the report concluded.

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