Inclusion of SME in EAC sought

Karachi: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) invited the attention of finance minister Ishaq Dar to the need of inclusion of an SME expert in the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) without which the council will remain incomplete as it is the majority sector of the economy and needs to be represented to advise on SME promotion and development.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver appreciated the efforts of the finance minister and his team for stimulating the economy and advised him to give priority to the SME sector and comprehend their need and requirements. It is the SME sector which can strengthen the economy and needs to be facilitated, supported, encouraged and also motivated. The SMEs are there in the primary, secondary and the tertiary sectors of the economy and the SME expert knows the requirements of each sector.

He pointed out that the EAC needs to focus on the SME sector and have an agenda which includes the allotment of land at concession, finance at affordable mark up, marketing support and technology import facilities. There is urgent need for banking, leasing and insurance support on modern lines.

Thaver pointed out that the non inclusion of an SME expert in the EAC is a grave and serious mistake and urged the FM to ensure inclusion before the next meeting for specific SME economic uplift advice on scientific lines.

He said the Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Scheme (PM-YLS) is a step in the right direction but out of millions of prospective youth entrepreneurs who may qualify on merit but only hundred thousand who are lucky in the ballot would be able to avail the benefit. This is not a strategic approach as every Pakistani youth who wishes to become an entrepreneur needs to be supported, guided and facilitated to start or expand business based on merit. It is the right of the youth and it is no benevolence on the part of the government.

The small business sector deserves the best attention of the government and all over the world they are promoted and supported. In USA the Small Business Corporation (SBC) is directly under the president of USA.

Likewise in UK, Japan, China, European Countries, India and Latin American countries the SMEs have played an important role in the economic development because they earned the support of their respective governments. Pakistan cannot afford to neglect the SMEs involved in farming, trading, manufacturing and services and it is high time that scientific systems of risk management are included in the economic agenda to make the banks comfortable in financing the sector rather than mere ballot systems for few which may disappoint those who are not lucky in the ballot.

The commercial banks are supposed to finance commercial activity and not merely lend a major portion to the government he lamented.

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