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Home » Business News, General Business News

National Steering Committee for SME Policy Revision holds first meeting

December 6, 2018

Lahore, December 06, 2018 (PPI-OT): The first meeting of the National Steering Committee for revision of SME Policy was held in chair with Senator Nauman Wazir and Mr. Azhar Ali Chaudhry, Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production. The steering committee members including CEO SMEDA, Mr. Sher Ayub Khan and representatives from Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Chambers of Commerce and Industry and business community attended the meeting.

At the occasion, Senator Nauman Wazir gave high value to SMEDA’s efforts for developing new policy framework for SME sector through engaging all public and private stakeholders to obtain their inputs during the policy formulation process. Mr. Azhar Ali Chaudhry, Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production stated that the Government has embarked upon an ambitious plan to boost the economy by making interventions in key areas of economic importance.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) having a pervasive presence across most economic sectors, are an integral part of the Government’s economic development strategy. It has become imperative to initiate new efforts with a right policy and institutional focus that will make Pakistani SMEs competitive in international markets and fulfill the multiple agenda of employment creation, new enterprise development, increased exports and enhanced contribution to value addition, he said.

CEO SMEDA Mr. Sher Ayub Khan apprised the participants of the objectives of the new Policy being framed for SME development in Pakistan. He focused specially on entrepreneurship development to lift the pressure off the job market in Pakistan, through entrepreneurship promotion. He highlighted that most of the graduating students and individuals are job seekers rather than job creators.

Mr. Sher Ayub Khan ensured that entrepreneurship development will be given special attention while formulating a comprehensive policy for SMEs. The policy will include measures to train and facilitate aspiring entrepreneurs in transforming their innovative business ideas and support existing SMEs to promote the emergence of start-ups in the country. Ms. Nadia J. Seth, General Manager, Policy and Planning, SMEDA said that a comprehensive SME Policy framework being developed, which will serve as Government of Pakistan’s master plan for providing support to catalyze growth of the SME sector.

During the meeting, Senior Policy Advisor of US Agency of International Development Mr. Suleman Ghani and USAID funded Small and Medium Enterprise Development Activity Representative Mr. Farrukh Mehboob Khan shared the activities of the project to support SME development in the country. Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR) team briefed the participants about the SME Policy Development process. While explaining the methodology, they underscored that an evidence based policy formulation approach has been adopted in order to identify key issues and recommendations for SME sector. SMEDA, in collaboration with consultants have already conducted structured interviews and focus group discussions nationwide to ensure involvement of key SME stakeholders.

Participants of the meeting showed their satisfaction on the policy development process. They stressed upon the need of unanimous SME definition to be implemented across the board and adopted by all national institutions to develop fiscal, monetary and legislative measures for SMEs operating in the country. Representative of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan highlighted the issues of the SMEs in the informal economy and called upon the need to develop policy guidelines for formalization of SMEs.

Similarly, Mr. Samar Hasnain, Executive Director, Development Finance Group, State Bank of Pakistan and representative of Ministry of Finance paid special attention to solve the issues related to access to finance and the financial inclusion of SMEs by improving their bankability. Representative of the Ministry of Commerce highlighted the critical role SMEs can play in order to improve trade related activities in Pakistan. He stressed that export sector holds the key to transform the economy of Pakistan.

Moreover, representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and President UNISAME, Mr. Zulfiqar Thaver emphasized that the government must make all efforts towards providing business development services and create a level-playing field for the SMEs to flourish and contribute towards national development.

For more information, contact:
DGM (Admin. and PR)
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA)
4th Floor, Building No.3, Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex,
Egerton Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-111-456
Fax: +92-42-36304926-7
Email: aligohar@smeda.org.pk, helpdesk@smeda.org.pk
Website: www.smeda.org.pk

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