(Commerce): Need stressed to facilitate small industries

Karachi:The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of the prime minister (PM) Imran Khan to the slow pace of work and non-implementation of policy decisions which is badly affecting the growth of the economy.

UNISAME president Zulfikar Thaver said the government seriously needs to get into gear and put plans and policy into action. He said the sector badly needs an SME policy, a strong Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), a functional credit guarantee insurance company with affordable premium, an SME business portal, an SME specific Bank, an Exim Bank and above all an SME Institute for filing of the technological gap.

The sector has been hearing of promises since the last two years but unfortunately there is no definite time frame and the sectors demand remain unfulfilled. Thaver said the PM must also take notice of the lethargy in steps and measures which are not being taken at appropriate time. The geographical indications (GI) law is not implemented although the bill has been passed. The basmati rice exporters are badly affected by the delayed actions of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) which has not been proactive regarding basmati brand, GI tag applications and promotion of our basmati rice.

Our competitor India is actively trying to push us behind. India recently applied for the basmati GI tag for European Union on exclusive basis which is foul play and TDAP is still contemplating, he said. The SME farmers have been badly affected by floods and no subsidy has been given for fertilizers, seeds and diesel to enable them stand back on their feet. UNISAME experts have urged the PM to give directions to the concerned ministries to be proactive and to take steps and measures promptly in good time rather than be wise after the event.