Small and Medium Enterprises sector losing due to lethargy of government: Zulfikar Thaver

Karachi, January 16, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) invited the attention of prime minister (PM) Mian Nawaz Sharif to the lethargy in addressing the requirements of the sector although more than a year has passed for the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) government and major issues of access to finance, export promotion, tax exemptions, industrial estates, incentives and technical support remain unattended.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the majority sector of micro, small to medium sized entrepreneurs (MSMEs) expected that the business friendly PML-N would take fast and positive steps to boost the MSME sector but the present government is lacking the initiative. It is true that the government is faced with other priority issues of terrorism, law and order, energy and inflation but the government cannot afford to ignore the majority sector and resolve their issues simultaneously as the sector is the backbone of the economy and deserves the best priority.

He said the sector will remain behind unless the government works on it from grass root level to uplift the sector. Thaver said the government needs to have a short term and long term policy for the sector and it is very important that the primary sector which is the source of all raw material is well looked after and educated in improving their systems. The government’s vision 2025 is far fetched and will remain just a document if not implemented from 2015 onwards.

Pakistan has the advantage of favourable seasons, water for irrigation, fertile lands and huge labour force which is the backbone of the agricultural economy.

The government needs to facilitate the primary sector with seeds, fertilizers, fumigation medicine, agricultural equipments to bring about fast track growth and uplift the primary sector. The SME farmers are borrowing money from money lenders on heavy rate of finance and pledging their harvest with the millers and middlemen. Unfortunately the rice,wheat,sugarcane, cotton growers are in turmoil as they are not recovering their cost of production due to poor policy of farm produce protection of the government. The need is to be proactive and plan. The government is always wise after the event and losses.

The secondary and tertiary sectors also play very important roles. The government is not doing as much as it should do to boost the sectors. The secondary sector holds tremendous potential but is facing adverse conditions of energy crisis and the situation demands full fledged resolutions on war footings. The government will gain in the long run by facilitating the SME units to modernize their plants and machinery and allow free import of technology and 0 duty on balancing and replacement machinery.

Immediate steps are needed to promote alternate energy by subsidized financing and facilitating the entrepreneurs for installation of solar, bio mass and wind devices to generate electricity wherever suitable. It should be mandatory on new construction to install solar energy devices and entrepreneurs should be rewarded for installing biomass or solar energy generation devices in their units.

It would be wise if the government promotes new industry by tax exemptions, providing land on easy lease payment facilities, providing marketing support, facilitating transfer of technology and access to finance on affordable mark up. PML-N government must learn from the success stories of China, Turkey, U.S.A, U.K and Japan how the SMEs are facilitated and promoted to grow.

UNISAME has urged the PML-N government to remember its promises to the sector and to facilitate the entrepreneurs who can change the destiny of Pakistan with the help and support of the policy makers.

For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35884225-6
Fax: +92-21-35380642
Cell: +92-300-8245307, +92-321-8245307

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