ICCI for new SME Policy

1846

Islamabad

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has said that due to some measures taken by the government under the influence of IMF, the SME sector was passing through a worst time therefore, the government should shortly announce a new SME policy in order to create conducive environment for these businesses for their better promotion and growth. In a joint statement issued here on Monday President ICCI Ahmed Hassan Moughal and Senior Vice President Rafat Farid said that due to tough business conditions, SMEs were compelled to take loans to meet the needs of working capital instead of expansion as their survival was in jeopardy. They said that according to State Bank of Pakistan, SMEs obtained loans of Rs.111 billion during the first eleven months of 2018-19 out of which Rs.94 billion was taken for working capital, which showed that they were undergoing very difficult times. Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that during the last 11 months, the rupee has experienced over 30 percent depreciation while the prices of electricity, gas and POL products have been hiked many times in addition to increasing taxes in budget. He said that all these measures have made exorbitant increase in the cost of doing business. Inflation in the country has also exceeded 10 percent causing hefty squeeze in the purchasing power of people and this situation has badly affected business activities as well, he added.—INP

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