(09 April, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that SMEs have a significant contribution in the total GDP of the Country, according different reports, the share in the annual GDP is 40 percent likewise SMEs generating significant employment opportunities for skilled workers and entrepreneurs. Small and medium scale firms represent nearly 90 percent of all the enterprises in Pakistan and employ 80 percent of the non-agricultural labor force. These figures indicate the potential and further growth in this sector
Mian Zahid Hussain said the major problem of this sector is the lack of finance which is accounted for 51 percent according to the World Bank survey. SME bank is the only national financial institution in the Country that provides financial assistant to the SME sector through easy loans of Rs. 50 thousands to Rs. 100 Millions to the trade and industry fulfills the requirements of Small and Medium Enterprise including women entrepreneurs, auto parts manufacturing, fan industry, furniture industry, gems and jewellery, bicycles, hotels and restaurants and many others in terms of project financing, working capital and leasing.
The veteran business leader said SME bank has been established on demand of SME sector in 2002 with core objective of providing financial assistance to this sector through easy loans. Since there is no alternate to this institution is available therefore it is suggested not to privatize SME bank. The SME sector which significantly contributes to the National Economy will adversely effected if the SME bank is being privatized.
The former minister said the business community has reservations on the closure or privatization of SME bank as this is the only institution provides financial assistance to the SME sector. Government needs to reconsider its decision of privatizing SME bank and find an immediate remedial strategy to cover the losses of this institution. In addition it is required to pay attention to the SME sector in order to increase the SME sector share in the National economy.