SMEs pinning hopes with upcoming budget

Amanullah Khan

Karachi

SME Sector attaches hopes with the forthcoming budget 2017 to be taken care of to give this backbone of the economy its due place in the government policies. In this respect the Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the federal finance minister (FM) senator Ishaq Dar to ensure an SME friendly budget and make provisions of sufficient funds for SME promotion and development in letter and spirit as mere lip sympathy will not promote the sector which has become noncompetitive due to global challenges. UNISAME expects an SME friendly budget from a business friendly PML-N government. President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the SME sector is the majority sector and deserves to be facilitated through the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA). He demanded the strengthening of SMEDA to make it strong to help, support, facilitate and motivate the sector and encourage the entrepreneurs to rise to the next level. He regretted that SMEDA is left alone to die its own death and does not even have a full time chief executive officer (CEO). It needs to be headed by a private sector expert who could bring vision and dynamic leadership for SME promotion on modern lines. He said the size and strength of SMEDA needs to be increased to enhance its scope to enable it to reach the SMEs in every district. Thaver demanded a SMEDA of international standard having sufficient personnel, funds and affiliations and linkages to world chambers of commerce and SME promotion institutions. The articles of association and memorandum of SMEDA aim at providing education and information to the sector based on training, up gradation, transfer of technology and uplift of the sector. It is the incumbent duty of SMEDA to conduct regular courses and training and promote modernization of SME units.
Thaver invited the attention of the FM to the lack of interest of the government in SMEDA and pointed out that this is the reason of slow growth of the sector.

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