Small and Medium Enterprises capacity building key strategy for access to finance

Karachi, December 04, 2016 (PPI-OT): The National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) is determined to build capacity of MSMEs, all financial institutions, trade associations and SME facilitators and service providers on fast track basis under a timeline as it considers it crucial to SME promotion and development and financial inclusion of the majority sector. It aims at inclusion of all segments of the society.

The Capacity Building Working Group (CBWG) under the Technical Committee (TC) is scheduled for its second meeting at the NFIS Secretariat, Karachi on the 8th December to be chaired by Zulfikar Thaver president of the Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) to deliberate and discuss implementation of capacity building of SMEs, commercial banks, trade associations, insurance, leasing and logistics companies on fast track basis as approved by NFIS TC.

Thaver said the CBWG has proposed a 12 points programme to the NFIS shared leadership of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Ministry of Finance and the World Bank. The CBWG has emphasized on education, encouragement, facilitation, support and motivation to enable the sector meet the global challenges.

The CBWG has recommended to the NFIS to educate the SMEs about the new technologies in production, management, marketing, accounting and inventory control and encourage the SMEs to modernize and make plans for balancing and replacement of their units and arrange transfer of technology.

It is very important to facilitate the SMEs through banking, leasing, insurance as these are the pillars for growth. MSME dedicated banks are needed for access to finance. The CBWG stressed on Islamic banking as it is asset based an ideal for SMEs. The SMEs in order to progress need law and order and protection and need to feel safe.

The infrastructure needs to be improved and since the SME sector is dependent on logistics which encompasses transportation, warehousing and collateral management. The need for promotion and subsidy for alternate energy is being felt due to the energy crisis. There is an urgent need of industrial estates in all the provinces.

The government should adopt a policy of fair taxation and also give tax benefit to innovative industries and new units. The SMEs need their own chamber of commerce and also their own export promotion bureau. The SME Ombudsman is also required to redress the grievances of the sector.

The NPO, EDB, SMEDA, PCSIR, PSQCA and TDAP are all dedicated institutions and working hard for the promotion and development of the SMEs together with the commercial banks but they all need to co-ordinate with one another for integrated efforts. The PSQCA needs to play an important role for fixing bench mark, standards and certifications. Thaver said the CBWG comprises of experts from World Bank, SBP, SECP, SMEDA and Commercial banks and considers himself fortunate to have them on the working group.

For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35884225-6
Fax: +92-21-35380642
Cell: +92-300-8245307, +92-321-8245307