Our Special Correspondent
LAHORE:Chairman United Business Group,Founder Chairman Pak US Business Council and Senior Vice President SAARC Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik Saturday urged the government to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on the pattern of developed countries to strengthen national economy and boost exports manifolds.
Talking to a delegation of traders here, he also highlighted the importance of adopting a workable policy for upcoming entrepreneurs, easy access to credit, tax rebates and one-window operation.
Malik highlighted various issues being faced by SMEs including lack of proper access to finance, high cost of doing business, low value addition, technological advancement, complicated tax system.
According to press statement issued here, Malik also shared successful experiences of SMEs of Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China and suggested easy and favourable discounted rate access of finance to SMEs, establishment of SMEs zones and clusters.
He said that SMEs were contributing 30% in GDP, 25% in exports and 78% in the industrial employment which showed their key role in the economic development of the country.
Quoting State Bank of Pakistan figures, he said, SMEs obtained loans of Rs.111 billion during the first eleven months of 2018-19 out of which Rs.94 billion was taken for working capital, which showed that they were undergoing very difficult times.
He said that SMEs in the region were getting around 19 percent of the total private sector credit, but in Pakistan SME were getting just 7.7 percent of total private sector credit, which showed that access to finance was a major problem for these businesses in the country.
He urged that government should announce a specific concessional package for SMEs to ease their problems.
Iftikhar Malik was of the view that many Chinese companies were expected to come to Pakistan to take part in CPEC projects.
He said that Chinese companies were equipped with latest technology and sufficient capital, therefore, he stressed that government should provide all possible cooperation and support to local SMEs enabling them to enter into sustainable Joint ventures with Chinese counterparts and play more effective role in the economic development of the country.
He also pointed out that SMEDA was the only organisation working for SMEs, urging for increasing its capacity and capability to managing and propose a workable SME policy.