Friendly policies demanded to boost small businesses

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises invited the attention of Sher Ayub Khan, the CEO of the Small Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) that the sector needs an SME friendly trade policy and an SME friendly budget.

Zulfikar Thaver president UNISAME urged the CEO SMEDA to make strong recommendations to the ministries of finance, commerce and industries. The recommendations of SMEDA carry a lot of weight and the government cannot ignore them. Therefore SMEDA needs to impress upon the policy makers to facilitate the MSME sector which is the majority sector, the engine of growth and the vehicle for poverty alleviation he said.

Thaver said the issues of the MSME remain unresolved and the sector is not facilitated, supported, encouraged as much as it deserves.

Pinpointing the requirements of the sector the Union chief said the need of the sector for an SME specific bank remains since long and also the much talked about Exim Bank remains unfulfilled.

The commercial banks lack risk management expertise and are insisting on collateral and despite the various schemes of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are not inclined to take risk. The SBP provides the finance but the risk is of the banks which they are not inclined to take.

The Union has proposed that the rate of taxation is high and needs to be reduced.

The import duties on raw material needs to be substantially reduced as raw material import has become costly due to rupee depreciation.

SMEDA itself needs to be strengthened and an increase in size and scope is apparent. E-commerce needs promotion and in fact an SME export promotion bureau is required for global promotion of SME wares.

Industrial estates with commercial property leasing facilities are needed.

Alternate energy plants and devices need to be subsidized. The government must declare priority for the sector and accordingly all implementations must be done.