The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of the prime minister (PM) Imran Khan to the urgent need to appoint a chief executive officer (CEO) of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) without loss of time and save the situation as the promotion and development funds will lapse for want of authority and work is suffering.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the sector needs top priority and the approach to issues are wrong and misplaced. Instead of re-validating the SME policy 2007 an exercise is taking place to make a new one. The SME policy 2007 is a perfect document and simply needed implementation. Making a new one is consuming time, energy and money. It is delaying implementation.
The SMEs have urged the PM to place SMEDA under the cabinet division for direct control. As all over the world the small business promotion organizations come under the chief executive of the country.
The draft of new SME policy document was presented at the steering committee meeting at Islamabad yesterday presided by Abdul Razzak Dawood adviser to prime minister on commerce, industry , production and investment , it was appreciated but subjected to questioning by the members. It will be revisited for fine tuning and consensus to make it a perfect document for the promotion and development of the sector. The challenges for the sector are many and time is the essence. Any delay is causing damage to an already orphaned sector.
Thaver informed that the recommendation to redefine the medium enterprises by lowering the turnover limit for the medium enterprises was not acceptable to the SMEs. the committee was informed in writing that since rupee has depreciated and those who were exporting up to Rs 800 million annually will now be getting realization for their exports at about 40% more and by the proposed new definition the SME policy makers will be excluding them by shortening the radius unnecessarily.
Secondly it is pertinent to note that the medium sector is the most vibrant sector and ready to modernize and expand and instead of encouraging and appreciating they are being excluded out of the definition. Thirdly the banks are very comfortable with the medium enterprises as they are organized and have progressive outlook. The efforts of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and SMEDA will get a setback. Fourthly the medium entrepreneurs are success stories and in the present situation when the big entrepreneurs are shy the medium and the higher medium are responding to motivation talks he stated.
The Small and Medium Industrial Leasing Estates Pvt Ltd (SMILE) has many applications for new and innovative and import substitution industries from medium and higher medium. This will create employment and growth therefore it would be unwise to narrow the definition.
Many SEZs are coming up for SMEs and most of the applicants are from the medium sector. It would be wise to widen the definition to include the higher medium enterprises.
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