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Impact of Nationalization on Pakistan's Economic development

" We would have had the likes of Birlas and Tatas but for nationalization."
Nasim Saigol, Interview with Business Today, India. March 22-April 6,1992
" Had we gone at the rate of growth during the decade of 1960's, I reckon we would have definitely been an Asian tiger by now"
Abdul Hameed. M. Dadabhoy, Interview with Daily Dawn September 9, 1995.
Bhutto's nationalization broke some of the 22 families financially but several of them were also broken in body and spirit, with the result that they disposed off industaries that escaped nationalization or self-imposed a moratorium on new projects. Farooq A Shaikh of Colony group, one of the major affectees of nationalization remarked in an interview with author that top Pakistani industrialists not just lost industrial units to Bhutto's nationalization policy, they lost the urge to invest in Pakistan.

" We concluded regretfully that it was a bad judgement on the part of our group to have remained exclusively confined to Pakistan. It was like putting all the eggs in one basket", he said while noting that several industrialists particularly those from Karachi had resorted to flight of capital, ahead of Bhutto's nationalization and were able to comfortably live out the Bhutto era in Europe or United States on business ventures set up there.

Karachi based business communities of Memons, Khojas and Bhoras had led the first wave of industrial development in Pakistan but it were they who suffered most in the seperation of East Pakistan and Bhutto's nationalization. These business communities had been seasoned by persecutions of different types in their abodes in India and elsewhere, particularly, Burma, and therefore, they responded in the only way that was expected in such a situation , i.e switch over investment and move abroad. It is not surprising that several leading industrial families of the 1970 era have not set up a single big industrial project in 25 years since nationalization.

Earlier in this chapter, we have listed some projects abandoned by the big business, half or three quarters complete because nationalization order excluded private sector from operating in certain industrial fields. These projects mainly related to manufacture of tractors, automobiles and fertilizers which were capital intensive and employment generating. The sponsors of these gigantic projects resigned themselves in the post-Bhutto era to become traders or at best spinner of yarn and processor of sugarcane.

The sweep of nationalization, its impact on the psyche of the big business and thus on Pakistan's industrial development can not be comprehended without taking a look at the taken-over industries, companies and their ownership.

In six traumatic years of Z A Bhutto, 31 key industrial units, 13 banks, over a dozen insurance companies, 10 shipping companies and two petroleum companies were nationalized, out of which at least 22 industrial units, 9 banks, 9 insurance companies, 3 shipping companies and 2 petroleum companies belonged to the 22 families. Nasim Saigol claimed in the interview with the author that Saigols lost 70% of their assets in Bhutto's nationalization.

Following is the list of industaries and companies nationalized by Bhutto and the groups owning them.

31 Key industries nationalized in 1972

Units taken over in Karachi

1 Steel Corporation of Pakistan Fancy
2 Hyeson's Steel Hyesons
3 Ali Automobiles Jaffer Bros
4 Kandawala Industries  
5 ROK Industries  
6 Haroon Industries Haroon
7 Wazir Ali Industries Packages
8 Gandhara Industries Bibojee
9 Indus Chemical and Industries  
10 Valika Cement Valika
11 Karachi Gas Fancy
12 Valika Chemicals Valika
13 Karachi Electric Fancy-Jaffer Bros
14 National Refinery  
15 Pakistan Fertilizer Corporation Jaffer Bros

Units taken over in Punjab and NWFP

16 BECO C.M.Latif
17 M.K.Foundary  
18 Ittefaq Foundry Ittefaq
19 Rana Tractors  
20 United Chemicals Saigol
21 Pakistan Cement Saigol
22 Ismaeel Cement Colony
23 Central Iron and Steel Works  
24 Valika Steel Works Valika
25 Jaffer Steel Corporation Jaffer Bros
26 Pakistan Progressiv Cement Wah Colony
27 Pakistan progressive Cement Dandot Colony
28 Rawal Pindi Electrics  
29 Modern Steel Muredke  
30 Multan Electric Supply Colony
31 Karim Industries Nowshehra Nishat

Nationalized Banks and their ownership

1 Habib Bank Ltd. Habib
2 United Bank Ltd Saigol
3 Muslim Commercial Bank Adamjee
4 Australasia Bank Colony
5 Premier Bank Arag
6 Habib Bank Overseas Habib
7 Commerce Bank Ltd Fancy
8 Memon Cooperative Bank Dawood
9 Lahore Commercial Bank Dawood
10 Punjab Cooperative Bank Dawood
11 Pakistan Bank Ltd Dawood
12 Bank of Bahawal Pur Dawood
13 Standards Bank  

Natioanlized Insurance Companies

1 Eastern Federal Union (EFU) Arag
2 United Insurance Valika
3 New Jubilee Fancy
4 Adamjee Insurance Adamjee
5 Habib Isurance Habib
6 Premier  Crescent
7 Central  Dawood
8 IGI Packages
9 Union Nishat

Nationalized Shipping Companies

1 Pan Islamic Shipping Arag Industries
2 United Oriental Shipping Arag Industries
3 Trans Ocean Shipping  
4 Mohammadi Shipping  Arag Industries
5 Pakistan Shipping  
6 East and West Shipping  
7 Gulf Steam Shipping  
8 Chittgong Shipping  
9 Crescent Shipping  Crescent
According to Ahmad Dawood's biography by Usman Baltiwala, Dawood also lost 25 Shipping vessels but the name of Dawood group Shipping company does not appear in the list of Nationalized shipping companies as published by newspapers. Dawood also lost two oil companies namely Dawood Petroleum and Pakistan National oil, under Marketing of Petroleum Products Ordinance, 1974.

How nationalization retarted Pakistan's economic growth can also be illusterated by the simple fact that in 1974 Pakistan had inherited three aging vessels but their number increased to 75 when Bhutto nationalized the nine shipping companies and merged them into Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC). But in 1992 when Sharif government finally licensed private shipping companies, the number of vessels with PNSC had come down to 25 only.

Several leading figures like Rangoonwala, Haroon, Dawood, Jaffer, Saigols simply left Pakistan, some of them for good. Others were to return only to indulge in trading. Still others with the degree of ostentatious courage who stayed back till Bhutto's day of reckoning, like Gul Ahmad, Fateh, Adamjee, Bawani, Dadabhoys and Dadas did not set up a single industrial project of consequences in next 25 years. When I asked Razak Dawood during an interview if he can identify a few big industrial units set up by the Memons after 1971, the only unit that came to his mind was Gatron Industries.

Ahmad Dawood was imprisoned and put on the Exit Control List. It was only in 1974 that he managed to go abroad, not to return till the overthrow of Z A Bhutto by Gen. Zia in 1977. While in USA Ahmand Dawood set up an oil exploration company which is reported to have carried out explorations at six wells " All of which prove to be oil bearing".

Sadiq Dawood migrated to Canada where he set up chain of departmental stores but returned in 1980 to launch BBR Madaraba with an initial capital of Rs 5 million. The BBR group today comprise five listed companies with an asset base of Rs 2 billion, but except for one, all the group comapanies are active in the services sector. TransPak, the only manufacturing company set up during this period by the members of Dawood family produces toothpaste and combines a packing concern.

Jaffer family business headed by Ahmad Ebrahim comprise at leat ten compnies including Ahmad Jaffer and company, Jaffer Sons, International Travels Ltd, Pakistan Garage Ltd and Karachi Electric Supply Corporation. A car assebly plant and an under construction fertilizer factory at Hawks Bay was nationalized. Presently the group is active only in trading and does not have a single company listed on Karachi Stock Exchange.

In the wake of nationalization the Fancy group members sold of remaining assets like Kotri Textile Mills, New Jubilee Insurance and interests in Pakistan Industrial Credit & Investment Corporation (PICIC) to Sadaruddin Hishwani. The solitary project set up by Fancies in last two decades is a biscuit factory.

Valika Steel was a big nationalized unit which underwent major expansion during Bhutto's six years when its name was changed to Special Steel. It came close to bankruptcy and was marked for privatization when it was taken over by Kahuta Research Laboratory of Dr. A Q Khan. It is today the nucleus of key 0defence-related projects in Pakistan.

Harron's had atleast 25 companies in their group including pakistan Services Ltd., Pakistan Herlod Ltd,Haroon Industries Ltd, Haroon Sons Ltd and Herbertson (Pakistan) Ltd. Today their interests in Pakistan are limited to Haroon Oils and Herold Publications while Yousaf Haroon has a divesified industrial network in the united States.

Born in Rangoon, M A Rangoonwala had migrated to Bombay in 1933 and had intrenched himself in business by the time Pakistan came into being as an independene state. In 1947 he migrated to Pakistan and by 1971 he was represented on the board of 45 companies, of rich 25 belonged to his own Rangoonwala-Bengali group. When nationalization uprooted him for the third time he migrated to Malaysia. Since he majored in edible oil industry , many people in this industry see him behind Pakistan's emergence as the single biggest importer of palm oil from Malaysia.

Like Rangoonwala, C.M. Latif was a towering personality of paksitan industry, both in physique and achievement. He had setup Batala Engineering Company (BECO) in Batala , East Punjab, India in 1933 and in less than a decade it came to be ranked as one of the India's top three machine tool companies. It is said that half of the Wagner equipment that was obtained by the British India, as war reparation from Germany, after the Second World War was allocated to BECO. In 1947, C.M. Latif migrated to Pakistan and set up his company with the same name in Badami Bagh area in Lahore. By the time it was nationalized in 1971, it had become one of the biggest engineering complexes in Pakistan which was on the threshold of launching the domestic manufacturing of textile machinery, in collaboration with Toyota Carporation of Japan . In 1995 when Privatization Commission decided to dispose off BECO, (now Pakistan Engineering Company, PECO), it had incurred losses of Rs. 365 million and the government was still toying with the idea of indigenous manufacture of textile machnery in Pakistan.

Between 1977-95 , C M Latif had waged a one man crsusade for the return of his unit which is currently being sold by the Privatization Commisssion in several lots of realy estate. In an advertisement in the daily Business Recorder of February 1, 1991 C M Latif demanded return of BECO to former owners and reminisced about his factory in the following poem, intitled ( Food for thought) .

You must learn to hate violence, love non-violence,

You must learn to fight evil, without doing evil.

You cannot banish darkness with darkness.

You cannot fight hate with hate, but only with love.

Wishing Batala Engineering ,

C.M.Latif , Former Chairman & Managing Director.

A man gifted by God to launch projects of national importance was reduced to writing incoherent poetry. But a wasrte of great national asset?

Division in 22 Families

Table of Contents

Bhutto's Nationalization

Robber Barons of Pakistan