Support sought for developing SMEs

Karachi: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has requested active support from chambers of commerce and industries and trade associations for SME development and promotion and invited them to send their proposals and recommendations based on equity and fair play for submission to the ministries of finance, industries and production and commerce for inclusion in the upcoming policies of the government.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the union is working for the cause of the SMEs since many years and voicing their concerns and requirements. The SMEs need level playing field and opportunities to grow. It is expected that the trade associations and chambers will understand the need of the hour and offer equitable benefits to all their members the big and the small in the larger interest of all entrepreneurs.

He said on receipt of the inputs from the chambers and trade associations for equitable facilities for the large, medium and small entrepreneurs the union will submit them to the ministries for considerations in the budget, trade and industrial policies through the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA). It is pertinent to note that the promotion of the SME sector is vital to economic growth as the SMEs exist in large numbers in farming, trading, manufacturing and services.

He said the union has already informed the government that it is very important that the policies made by the earlier governments need to be revisited and implemented on merit. The policies made by the previous governments with huge expenses are not yet implemented and deserve the immediate attention of the government.

Thaver pointed out that institutions like the Exim bank, the SME credit insurance, the venture capital fund, the SME export house and SME Ombudsman included in the earlier policies framed by the previous government have not been implemented although they are crucial for the development and promotion of the sector.

The security in the industrial estates is lacking and a well arranged and collective security force is required in the industrial areas with increased level of monitoring and vigilance. The owners cannot visit their own factories and this demands immediate attention of the law enforcing agencies.

He elaborated that the government needs to give definite agenda to all foreign missions to promote trade by introducing Pakistani goods abroad. In fact the union gave a road map for rapid promotion and development and suggested modernization of farms, agro-based industries, facilitation of value addition and import substitution industries. The union also recommended 0 duty on alternate energy devices and very low duties on raw materials and packing materials. The new entrants need tax holiday and the existing units incentives for modernization.

UNISAME recommended setting up of industrial zones, promotion of Islamic asset based financing and facilitating transfer of technology.

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