ICCI:(Govt. to provide grant of Rs. 1 to 4 Lac to SMEs on acquiring Certifications)

Islamabad: Ministry of Science & Technology has launched a “Certification Incentive Program” (CIP) for SMEs under Productivity, Quality and Invention (PQI) Initiative 2025 to support SMEs in improving certification framework that would lead to better quality products, improved industrial productivity, high level of competitiveness and wider penetration of Pakistani products into the international market.

To brief the business community about the key features of the program, Ministry of Science & Technology organized an introductory seminar on “Certification Incentive Program” at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Shaheen Raja, Project Manager, Ministry of S&T said that SME’s/Firms with achieved certifications such as ISO 9001, 14001, 18001 & others would be eligible to apply for this program.

He said the program would be for 3 years out of which one year has already passed and it would cost Rs.745,81 million. 75% of this cost would be spent on giving grants to SMEs for achieved certifications while the rest would be spent on their capacity building and trainings. The program would guide & support the SMEs to adopt new trends of international competitiveness, improved industrial productivity & quality.

He said the SMEs were not bound by law to obtain certifications, however, for promoting exports in international market, they have to achieve these certifications as the international clients preferred to buy from certified firms.

The SMEs of food, non-food and services sectors would be eligible to apply. The program shall provide only one-time reimbursement against a valid certification and the incentive would be provided to applicant SMEs for only one scheme of their choice.

The scheme envisages one-time reimbursement of partial expenditure for acquiring certification, so applicable. An amount of Rs.0.1- 0.4 million per certification for each SME is earmarked under the project.

Intensive nation vide training program for the related certification schemes would be organized and the permanent registered SMEs/units would be eligible to avail the Incentive Scheme.

Addressing the seminar, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that SMEs were the backbone of the economy and government should take strong initiatives to improve their competitiveness and productivity.

He said there were about 3.2 million SMEs in the country, but due to lack of financial and other resources, only a nominal number of them had achieved certifications.

He hoped that the Certification Incentive Program would help SMEs in adopting new business trends, getting new technologies, improving competitiveness and promoting country’s exports.

Mohammad Naveed Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI thanked M/o Science & Technology for organizing seminar on CIP at ICCI and assured that Chamber would fully cooperate with Ministry in introducing this program in local SMEs so that maximum SMEs of the region could take benefit from it for improving their business prospects.