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Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority develop strategy for Empowerment of Marginalised Businesses

Lahore, November 14, 2012 (PPI-OT): Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) is going to implement a project with the financial support of UNDP to empower poor strata of the society with right to do marginalized businesses, which have no clear legal status so far in Pakistan.

It was revealed at a consultative workshop arranged by SMEDA today at a local hotel to review draft of the “Community Outreach Strategy” developed by the renowned legal expert Mr. Asad Maken for practical implications of the project.

Workshop was attended by a number of stakeholders and legal and business experts. Mr. Sultan Tiwana, General Manager, Business and Sector Development Services (BSDS) presided over the session, who announced to continue series of such consultative workshops in other cities as well to share key findings and seek inputs of the stakeholders on the draft strategy.

The report identifies that even though existing SMEDA structure does provide legal services to the business community but it does not cater to the peculiar requirements of the marginalized businesses. It, therefore, recommends addition of this function to SMEDA’s institutional structure. Role of the informal sector and its contribution to the economy has also been underlined in the report.

The report attempts to propose a regime which increases capacity of the marginalized businesses to endure exploitation and diminish their vulnerability. The objective of the strategy is to ensure right to work, including right to vend; right to a work space (including public land and private residences) and related basic infrastructure (shelter, electricity, water, sanitation etc.) for a marginalized business.

Reaching out to the community to attain the above objectives is going to be a multifaceted approach. The report recognizes that legal empowerment is a difficult but an achievable goal, for which SMEDA will have to work hard.

The discussion emerged at the workshop dilated upon the proposed recommendations and also highlighted practical issues in the proposed strategy. The discussion led to the recommendations that a legal status should be determined for marginalized businesses coupled with Regulatory and legal framework. The poor people involved in marginalized business should be given awareness of their rights as well as a strong voice at proper forum to ensure implementation of their rights.

For more information, contact:
Liaqat Ali Gohar
DGM (Admin. and PR)
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA)
6th floor, LDA Plaza, Egerton Road, Lahore
Tel: 111-111-456
Fax: (042) 6304926
Email: helpdesk@smeda.org.pk
Website: www.smeda.org.pk

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