Karachi, August 23, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) in its committee meeting held at its office yesterday urged the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) to recount, register and determine the micro and small to medium sized enterprises and classify them according to size and line of trade for more focused promotion and development.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said it is accepted and agreed by all stakeholders that the SME sector is the vibrant sector, backbone of the economy, the engine of growth and the vehicle for poverty alleviation and best for creating employment yet the sector has not been given the priority it deserves.
The government has not taken pains to carry out a survey and merely repeats that there are 3.2 million SMEs in Pakistan whereas the number has increased manifolds. Since last 15 years the same figure of 3.2 million is being quoted although there are a huge number of SME farmers as well. There is need for recounting to assess the strength and potentiality of the sector industry and location wise.
The SMEs contribute to 30% of the exports and most of them are involved in value addition and they contribute 35% to GDP and offer employment to about 40% of the labour force. Thaver said the impediments to SME growth are lack of education, finance, proper environment, infrastructure, logistics and these days the energy crisis is a real issue.
In order to promote, encourage, facilitate, motivate and upgrade the SME sector UNISAME has suggested to the government to take measures 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.
UNISAME has stressed the need to facilitate the SMEs through banking, leasing, insurance as these are the pillars for growth. The SMEs in order to progress need law and order and protection and need to feel safe and of course the infrastructure needs to be improved as the SME sector is dependent on logistics which encompasses transportation, warehousing and collateral management.
The need for alternate energy is being felt due to the energy crisis and the UNISAME committee has emphasized the need for promotion of solar energy systems in houses, offices and factories. The new houses and factories and industrial estates must be asked to have alternate solar systems and this must be made mandatory.
The UNISAME committee urged the government to 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. They also need an SME specific bank, a technical institute and an ombudsman. There is need for joint venture and collaboration and all these requirements are included in the SME Policy 2007, which is not fully implemented.
The NPO, EDB, SMEDA, PCSIR 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 UNISAME committee demanded that the government should strengthen and equip the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and broaden its scope to enable it to reach the SMEs involved in manufacturing, trading and services.
The UNISAME committee authorized Syed Sajid Naqvi its secretary general to raise the union’s point of view at the 9th SME conference on 25th August 2015 organized by Shamrock Conferences. The committee is deeply concerned about declining exports of textiles, rice and commodities and requested Sajid Naqvi to invite the attention of the policy makers present at the moot to consider serious measures for regaining the lost markets.
UNISAME committee thanked Menin Rodrigues chairman Shamrock Conferences for the opportunity to present their demands at the scheduled forum in the presence of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) officials, SMEDA, Planning Commission, Commercial banks and other stakeholders.
For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Cell: +92-300-8245307, +92-321-8245307