Ministry invites Unisame to review SME Policy
KARACHI: The Ministry of Industries and Production has invited the Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) on Thursday (today) for final review of the SME Policy, a statement said.
The ministry has decided to complete the pending SME Policy and submit it to Prime Minister Imran Khan for consideration.
Federal Industries and Production Minister Khusro Bakhtiar will preside over the meeting with the participation from all the provincial chiefs and chief executive officers of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda), Unisame and senior officials of other ministries.
Unisame president Zulfikar Thaver said that the SME Policy has been under study by experts before the PTI formed the government and almost every month it was reported that the SME Policy would be announced but unfortunately the sector is still awaiting it.
Thaver said: “We still cannot believe it until it is approved by the Cabinet and signed by the prime minister and declared as a policy.”
The Unisame has recommended priority for the sector, access to finance, reduction in the rates of utilities such as electricity, gas and water.
Further, it has asked for controlling inflation and accordingly demanded action against the mafias. The Unisame urged the government to facilitate, motivate, encourage and support the micro to medium sector in terms of ease of doing business and doing away with the hurdles, impediments and unnecessary rules and regulations.
The Unisame experts also demanded an SME business portal for global exposure of the SME wares. It also demanded a value addition bureau supported by an SME technical institute.
Last, but not the least, a SME Ombudsman is the need of the hour, Thaver added.
Other important requirements were the introduction of commercial property leasing, affordable export guarantee insurance and of very immediate and serious concern is logistics, which has been taken over by the freight mafia. The policy will be incomplete unless these issues are addressed.
Thaver also urged the government to start manufacturing solar panels in Pakistan with the Chinese help to promote and reduce cost.
Other important need is the manufacturing of import substitution items and the sector expressed the hope that the government has considered these aspects in the policy and not neglected them.
Thaver said that the SME promotion and development is not a charity but it is the duty of the state. The state owes it to the under-privileged sector to make life easy for them and ensure their growth to enable them join the mainstream.
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