PM’s personal interest in strengthening SME sector praised. Businessmen recognise role of central bank in development. New policy should support whole SME sector.

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(August 17, 2020)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday lauded the personal interest of Prime Minister Imran Khan in strengthening the SME sector.

The business community supports the move of the government and acknowledges the efforts of State Bank of Pakistan in the connection, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that SME sector holds 40 percent share in GDP, provide 80 percent jobs outside agriculture but the majority of SMEs are undocumented which deprives them of benefits of soft loans.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that SMEs have to borrow costly loan from the market which increase the cost of doing business and create other problems, therefore, the bank cheque of any SME should be considered as collateral up to five million rupees.

The former Minister noted that SMEs lack research and development as well as marketing techniques which call for urgent intervention.

He said that many steps were taken to revive this important sector which includes establishment of SME bank and SMEDA but it proved to be a wastage of time and resources but now the PM is serious about the development of this sector which may prove fruitful.

He said that a new SME policy according to the ground realities should be announced as this sector comprises of eight hundred thousand industrial units, twelve hundred thousand services outlets and eighteen hundred thousand shops.

The present government allocated Rs745 million for the development of this sector soon after coming to power but to no avail. He said that the new SME policy should be focused on all the sectors and not only export-related SMEs.

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