Karachi, January 06, 2016 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has called upon the federal minister industries and production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi to revisit the SME Policy and urged the minister to impress upon the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) to be positive, proactive and propel the SME promotion and development actively.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said it is very strange that the SMEDA board has been reconstituted without any MSME representative on board and all members from the private sector belong to large enterprises and no SME expert is on the board to advocate the cause of the majority sector. Either the SME representative be taken on board or taken as a consultant to give feedback and good advice on the requirements of the sector, the impediments and suggest remedies.
He urged federal the minister who is the chairman of the SMEDA also to ensure that SMEDA vigorously promotes the sector and indulges in sector development practically on fast track and also gives the primary sector a jump start. The SME Policy needs to be implemented in letter and spirit without which the Vision 2025 would be just a document.
Thaver speaking on the Pakistan Television channel in a talk show “Economy in Focus” said it is imperative that the primary sector which is the source of all raw material is supported and modernized to enhance agricultural yield. Secondly the secondary sector needs the focus of SMEDA to enhance value addition and of course the services sector is also in need of guidance from SMEDA. The outreach of the authority needs to sharpened to reach the MSMEs in all the provinces. Unfortunately SMEDA is not co-ordinating with the provincial governments who could be of assistance in the fulfilment of its agenda.
He invited the attention of the ministry to the accessibility to finance due to lack of risk management skills of the commercial banks and urged SMEDA to take up the matter with the State Bank of Pakistan on priority basis. Other important points are strengthening of SMEDA to enable it to cope up with the challenges which competition is causing and the entrepreneurs are at a loss to meet the challenges due to lack of information, lack of exposure and technological gap.
The banking system needs to be sharpened and also leasing, insurance and logistics as these are the pillars of the economy. SMEDA is passive and not asserting itself, being an authority it is expected to advocate the cause of the sector vigorously but unfortunately it is subdued by the ministries of finance which is not convinced enough of the importance of the authority.
Thaver who is a member of the SME consultative group of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the SBP has come up with different schemes for the sector but the commercial banks are yet not inclined to finance the small sector and to accommodate the small sector it is very important that the microfinance banks are enabled to finance the micro enterprises and the small enterprises by increasing the existing limit of half a million to one million.
The Union experts have urged SMEDA to take up the issues of SME specific bank, leasing company, insurance, technical institute, export bureau, chamber of commerce and also the promised Exim Bank which is pending since long. The Union said that it fails to understand the passive role of SMEDA and the reason why it is not proactive, positive and not propelling the promotion and development of the sector wholeheartedly.
For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Cell: +92-300-8245307, +92-321-8245307