World SMEs Day: Unisame seeks govt push for sustainable growth

Web DeskWeb Editor

26th Jun, 2021. 03:21 pm
World SMEs Day: Unisame seeks govt push for sustainable growth

KARACHI: Most of the countries around the world consider the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) as the backbone of the economy and the most effective tool to generate employment opportunities, an official said on Saturday.

Considering the role played by these SMEs, it is the responsibility of the government to support, encourage and motivate these entities and also provide incentives to them. It is the majority sector and contributes one-third to the GDP and exports.

In a message on the World SMEs Day, being celebrated on June 27, 2021 (Sunday), Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) president Zulfikar Thaver said that the SMEs promotion and development is not everybody’s cup of tea, it is a very special subject and calls for a comprehensive policy.

The government made a comprehensive policy in 2007 but it still lacks 100 per cent implementation, while the policymakers have decided to prepare a new policy. This exercise could have been avoided by revalidating the old one with the amendments rather than spending time, money and energy on a new policy, which has nothing new in it.

The Unisame will celebrate the SMEs Day, being declared by the United Nations, despite being badly affected by the pandemic, he said.

Meanwhile, the Unisame Council has congratulated and thanked all the SMEs for their hard work and initiatives to meet the challenges. Self-employment is the best answer to unemployment, he added.

Thaver said that the UN has rightly marked a day in recognition of the micro to medium-sized entrepreneurs who pursue their occupational agenda for income generation in the face of challenges across the world.

Thaver said: “On this auspicious World SME Day, we would like to reiterate in simple words our requirements and sincerely hope they will be taken care of diligently in the best interest of employment, poverty alleviation, healthy growth and justice for the neglected majority sector.”

He appreciated the efforts of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) under the joint leadership of the central bank, the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank. Every segment needs to be included is the aim of NFIS and hopefully access to finance will be available for all segments of the society, the Unisame president said.

It seems Prime Minister Imran Khan has understood that the SME promotion and development is no charity but the responsibility of the state and has directed the bureaucracy accordingly but, unfortunately, the Ministry of Industries and Production needs to gear up, he said, and demanded a separate ministry for the SME sector.

Thaver said the sector needs finances at affordable rates, uninterrupted energy at subsidised tariffs, minimum duties on import of raw and packing materials, marketing and technical support to fill the technological gap and above all tax incentives for the new and import substitution industries.

Unless these requirements are met no amount of lip sympathy will give a jumpstart to the worst-hit sector due to the pandemic, he said, and demanded Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to save the sector and enable it to explore global markets.

He also urged the government to set up new import substitution industries or modernise their units in the country.

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