Union of Small and Medium Enterprises for Strategic SME Promotion and Development by Next Government

Karachi, May 24, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) pinpointed the aspects of SME promotion and development on state television talk live show ‘Economy in Focus’ on 22nd May 2018 and hoped the next government would give priority to the sector it deserves.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver whilst replying to the question of Imran Hassan the anchor about the shortcomings in SME uplift, pointed out that the government did not implement the SME policy and proposals of UNISAME. The Union created awareness, identified the impediments and suggested remedies to the ministries of industries, finance and commerce from time to time.

Thaver said we stressed the need for a strong Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and literally begged of the government to increase the size and scope of SMEDA to enable it to outreach the micro to medium sized entrepreneurs and also the farm sector. This is the first and foremost requirement and in fact the demand of the sector. The sector needs strategic planning and implementation.

Secondly he said the sector needed conducive environment for growth and this was not provided. Law and order is the basic requirement. The suggestion of SME Liaison Committee (SME-LC) just like CPLC was not taken seriously. Thirdly the energy crisis caused loss of production and coupled with high cost of doing business and no ease in doing business gave a setback. UNISAME had suggested to subsidize alternate energy and offer equipment and devices on ‘pay as you earn scheme’ but the government gave a deaf ear.

Fourthly he enumerated that banking, leasing, insurance and logistics are the pillars of the economy and they needed modernization and adoption of new concepts. Each one of these needs to be efficient and accessible to the entrepreneurs. Fifthly the government did not facilitate, motivate, encourage and support the majority sector.

The sector requirements of land at concession, uninterrupted supply of energy, regular supply of raw materials, marketing support and access to finance remained an issue. The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) allocates hardly any noteworthy amount for the majority sector. The government is more for huge projects for reasons best known to them. The MSME sector which deserves best attention of the government is not getting the focused attention of the government.

Thaver lamented that in all the countries of the world the sector is directly under the chief executive of the state and our request to place it directly under the cabinet division for prompt implementation of policies remained unanswered. UNISAME is not losing hope and said it would continue its efforts with the next government and resubmit its proposals for fast track uplift of the sector.

The MSME sector is a huge vote bank and the political parties must keep this in mind. The MSMEs and farmers have decided to vote for those who believe in their uplift. Thaver appreciated the efforts of SMEDA and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and said the sector can hope for good progress because of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) a shared leadership of World Bank, SBP and Ministry of Finance.

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
Email: unisame@gmail.com