Lahore, November 05, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) invited the attention of the prime minister (PM) Mian Nawaz Sharif to the new concept of going beyond efficiency adopted by the SME sector in advanced countries and urged him to declare 2015 as the year of SMEs and facilitate the sector to achieve excellence to compete with global entrepreneurs.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver speaking as guest at a local business television channel with Azhar Batla head of Livewire as the host he said it is incumbent upon the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government to expedite implementation of policies for the sector as lethargy is giving a set back. The government needs to think in terms of economic growth of the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy.
Many countries are progressing rapidly and countries which were far behind Pakistan are overtaking Pakistan. If the PML-N government is desirous of re-election under the bio-metric system it will only be possible if it accomplishes and works hard during the remaining tenure to win the hearts of the majority sector.
He said whilst agriculture comes under the primary sector which is the source of raw material, the secondary sector does the value addition. Referring to the agro based industries he emphasized the need for focused attention.
Pakistan has cotton, rice, wheat, maize, sugarcane and is able to maintain the GDP rate because of the agricultural produce and expressed regret that the country is importing pulses whereas we can grow pulses if the SME farmers are educated and taught to cultivate pulses.
The importers are importing items which can be made in Pakistan, the local industry is not given any tariff protection and imports are made with undeclared money of general merchandise items which are dumped in the market giving a setback to local industry.
The services sector is equally important and needs to be facilitated as well. The commercial banks have not been able to provide e-Payment gateway for e-Commerce, despite several request of the sector.
Giving the example of Turkey, China and Japan he invited the attention of the policy makers to the facilities of finance at affordable mark up, industrial estates, modernization of farming, promotion of e-Commerce, maintenance of law and order, promotion of alternate energy and pay as you earn schemes under leasing available to the entrepreneurs in advanced countries of the world.
Thaver said leasing companies are borrowing from the commercial banks and are unable to offer leasing facilities at less than 22% mark up. It is very important that leasing companies are placed under State Bank of Pakistan rather than the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). There are several organizations working for SME promotion but there is no co-ordination between them. The sector needs integrated efforts of the PCSIR, SMEDA, EDB, BSF, National Bank of Pakistan and the SME Bank.
Speaking about the facilities for SMEs the UNISAME chief stressed the need for an SME Fund, SME Ombudsman, 0% duty on machinery, technology, raw and packing materials, alternate energy devices and pay as you earn schemes for the SMEs. SMEDA is lacking support of the government and now only has a handful of personnel.
It needs to be strengthened with officers and funds to promote and develop the sector. The much talked about one window is not implemented. No incentives are given to new enterprises and no tax relief, no industrial estates are being established to accommodate the SMEs. The government needs to wake up and deliver or it will fail he stated.
Thaver also emphasized the need for law and order and demanded formation of the SME Liaison Committee (SME-LC) for the SMEs to protect their units from miscreants by collective protection squads to be managed by the SME-LC.
Finally the guest urged the PM to attack corruption vigorously and ensure anti corruption measures to curb corruption.
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
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