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Working group on capacity building to recommend uplift from grass root level

Karachi, May 19, 2016 (PPI-OT): The Working Group (WG) on Capacity Building (CB) of SMEs is scheduled to hold its first meeting on 23rd May 2016 at State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Karachi under the National Finance Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) and recommend steps for uplift of the sector.

President Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) Zulfikar Thaver who is the chairperson of the WG said the sector appreciated the NFIS and is thankful to SBP for their efforts in the NFIS and the focus on CB of SMEs. The WG is fortunate to have the officials of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Bank AlFalah, Allied Bank, First Women Bank and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) who will add value to the WG. The representative of IFC is also invited to participate. Muslim Raza another SME expert has been invited by the chairperson to add value to the recommendations. SBP is hosting the meeting being the secretariat of the NFIS.

Thaver said UNISAME would propose working from grass root level and would highlight the development of the primary sector, then the secondary and tertiary sectors respectively.

Financing the primary sector is very important for the development of the entire supply chain as the primary sector is the source of raw material. Likewise the secondary sector does the value addition and of course the services sector plays an important role in the development of the economy.

He said we will emphasize on the role of the micro finance banks, the commercial banks and the need for access to finance of the micro to medium sized enterprises. The role of Islamic banking would also be discussed as the best option for SMES as it is asset based financing.

The union has always said that banking, leasing, insurance and logistics are the pillars of the economy and the sectors growth depends upon the financing, the pay as you earn schemes, making the banks comfortable in financing the sector by insurance and logistics which now includes collateral management.

Thaver pointed out that whilst the rate is affordable yet the access to finance is lacking and for this the WG needs to aim at developing products for the sector.

Thaver said as member of the NFIS Technical Committee he suggested the Vendors Credit Card for the entrepreneurs to offer them bridge finance and other such products are the need of the hour and he would call upon the members of the WG of the CB to suggest and develop products.

The micro to medium sized entrepreneurs require finance at affordable rate, easy repayment terms, uninterrupted supply of energy, conducive environment, regular supply of raw material and marketing support.

On the other hand they need technical guidance, infrastructure and information for modernization.

UNISAME has proposed land at concession, finance on affordable mark up and easy payment schemes, credit guarantee insurance, marketing support and logistics.

Other suggestions are the setting up of SME specific bank, Liaison committee, the office of SME Ombudsman, SME chamber of commerce, SME technical institute for capacity building of the SMEs. The need for SME Bureau for promoting SME brands will also be on the agenda

Thaver said he hopes the WG will accept our suggestions and recommend in their report for fast track CB of the sector as envisaged by the NFIS.

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

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