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SMEDA starts consultation on SME budget proposals

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) Monday initiated a nation-wide consultation process to solicit inputs for Federal Budget 2018-19 by approaching around 250 SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) stakeholders including SMEs, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, trade associations and sector development companies.

According to SMEDA officials here Monday, the stakeholders had been asked to send their recommendations by end of this month regarding taxation tariff, regulatory procedures and any other issue that may limit SME progress. The received budget recommendations would be submitted to Ministry of Industries and Production, Ministry of Finance and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for inclusion in the Federal Budget 2018-19.

Meanwhile, SMEDA CEO Sher Ayub said that Federal Budget and Trade Policy had become the most important policies reshaping the business environment landscape in instantaneous terms in Pakistan, therefore, it was now an established fact that jointly these two policies most profoundly affect SMEs and their growth pattern.

There had been an increased acknowledgement of the role of SMEs in the economy yet there remained lack of focus on SMEs in allocating resources and awarding incentives, which needed to be addressed prudently in light of the stakeholders’ aspirations, he added.

Sher Ayub said that SMEDA being the apex SME development body served as a bridge between SME sector and the government. In its efforts to support SME development in the country, he mentioned, various policy advocacy activities were undertaken for development of conducive business environment based on sound policy measures to accelerate SME growth.

It is notable that free economic analysts had observed that Pakistan’s financial policies generally tend to favour large scale industry by allocating significant portion of development funds and fiscal incentives to the large scale businesses. Therefore, SMEDA had planned to advocate the SME case convincingly through Ministry of Industries and Production, he concluded.

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