The Business Development Conference at Federation House, Karachi

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SMEs can curtail the un-employment issues of the country – Promotion to SMEs should be kept on top priority – SMEs can produce immense contribution in the development of national economy –  Shoaib Siddiqui, Commissioner Karachi

The expansion of the SME sector is essential to an economic revolution in Pakistan, Zakaria Usman, President FPCCI

Separate SBP Prudential Regulations for SMEs already exist but still not implemented, Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig

(Karachi): The Commissioner Karachi Office & Mass Human Resources Services in collaboration with FPCCI have organized SME Senate – The Business Development Conference at Federation House, Karachi which was attended by a large number of people including panelists and prominently Shoaib Siddique, Commissioner Karachi, Zakaria Usman, President and Shaukat Ahmed, Senior Vice President of FPCCI, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig who delivered their speeches. The most popular senior business leader Tariq Sayeed also attended the session.  

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The Commissioner Karachi said that SMEs are the important factor of the economic circle which provides basis for industrialization and mass production. He further said that SMEs can play pivotal role in the development of trade and economic activities besides this most of the problems in the social sectors can be addressed by promotion of SMEs. He said that the population of Pakistan consists of more than 50% on youths but majority of them are unemployed due to which they involved in criminal activities creating law and order situation which ultimately hamper the trade and economic activities as idle mind is a devil workshop. He said that we have to change our priorities and focus has to be given for the promotion of SMEs in the country to curtail the problem of un-employment. The government cannot provide employment to a rapidly growing population and it is private sector particularly the SMEs which can cater the need. He said that FPCCI should make a strategy for the promotion of SMEs and create awareness on the importance of SMEs amongst the concerned quarters and we should not leave this campaign till a network of SMEs is vastly expanded along with the infrastructure and other facilities.

Zakaria Usman, President FPCCI said SMEs are the back bone of the economy but unfortunately this sector had been ignored and neglected and no importance had been given for the promotion of SMEs in Pakistan. He gave the example of Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan and other countries which are the developed economies of the world just because of their SMEs. They are still promoting their SMEs as generally they work as vendor for large scale industries. He further said that the expansion of the SME sector is essential for an economic revolution in Pakistan as loan recovery in the sector is 100 percent as compared to large scale industries.

The President FPCCI emphasized the need of poly-technique institutions and said that we need technicians so that the major part of our population which consists of youths can be made skilled to enable them to work as SMEs with financial help from banks. He said that State Bank of Pakistan should instruct the commercial banks to allocate separate funds for SMEs for their financial assistance. He warned that if we failed to gainfully utilize the capabilities of our youth then any other else can utilize them for their ulterior motives.

Zakaria Usman suggested that the government should make Commissions for the promotion of SMEs in all provinces which should include the officials of State Bank and other leading commercial banks and SME Bank along with other members from private and public sectors. He further suggested that before bringing the SMEs into the revenue net of the government they should be facilitated in terms of finance, infrastructure and security because the fearful atmosphere of taxes, duties and inspections by the authorities none of SMEs can survive in the country.

While discussing the hurdles and barriers in the line of promotion of SMEs Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig said that the SBP has already devised separate Prudential Regulations for SMEs through which SMEs can get finance from commercial banks on their cash flow basis. He regretted that the commercial banks refrain from advancing fund to SMEs under the prudential regulation of SMEs. He stressed on the immediate implementation of the said rules and issuance of necessary instructions to commercial banks to arrange separate funds for SMEs so that their financial problems can be resolved. Dr. Baig further recalled the government scheme of “One Town One Product” and urged to initiate the scheme in the rural areas and small cities with proper awareness to the public. He said we can make the SMEs as our vendor industries to support our large scale industries to enhance their production capacity and export surplus.

Shaukat Ahmed, Senior Vice President FPCCI said that we cannot move towards industrialization without promotion of SMEs. He suggested that city wise commissions under the head of relevant Commissioner should be established for promotion and facilitation of SMEs.

The President FPCCI, Commissioner Karachi and other participants of the above conference appreciated the efforts of Ms. Maryam Chaudhri, CEO of Mass Human Resources Services for holding a successful seminar and acknowledged her efforts which she has been making for last four years for the promotion of SMEs all over the country. Mr. Tariq Sayeed also expressed his gratitude on holding such a successful seminar on SMEs by this dynamic lady.