First-Ever SMEs Policy Announced: Policy Aimed at Poverty Reduction and Jobs Creation

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The first-ever small and medium enterprises (SMEs) policy aimed at creating a conducive environment for the development of small business units across the country; thereby stimulating job creation and poverty reduction, with an outlay of Rs 13.128 billion was announced here on Wednesday.

According to the SMEs policy, the government has to work mainly in four sectors, which are: Small Business Development Centre, Credit Information Bureau, Business Cluster and Credit Enhancement Mechanism.

Addressing journalists after the first meeting of National Committee on SMEs, Federal Minister for Industries, Production and Special Initiatives Mr Jahangir Khan Tareen disclosed that a number of initiatives were being taken under implementation process of the SMEs Policy, which include establishment of a Credit Guarantee Agency for SMEs with a fund of Rs 3.0 billion, an SMEs Subcontracting Exchange at a cost of Rs 26.09 million, an SMEs Development Institute by spending Rs 115.66 million, an SMEs Export House costing Rs 156.89 million and creation of an SMEs Promotion Council with a fund of Rs 143.72 million.

He said that to ensure proper implementation on the SMEs Policy, a permanent monitoring mechanism has been developed in the form of National Committee on SMEs along with the four provincial committees on SMEs. In this regard, the government has approved a fund of Rs 25.82 million for Policy Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, he added. He was confident that the SMEs Policy would provide a conducive and hassle-free business environment for SMEs that would ultimately create a long lasting entrepreneurial culture in the country by facilitating SMEs? access to the formal resources of credit, technology and human resource development.

Mr Tareen said that Small Business Development Centres would be created throughout the country. Initially it would be created in four provincial headquarters and in other two cities. However, the minister stressed that public private partnership would be required for the establishment of these centres. Financial institutions, concerned chambers and government support would be provided for the establishment of small business development centres, the minister added.

He said that the second important thing for successful SME?s policy is the creation of Credit Information Bureau, adding that all sort of information would be available there regarding SMEs. Workshops, seminars on SMEs would be carried out every month in different parts of the country and private sector would be particularly asked to attend them and provide their valuable suggestions. The recommendations and suggestions would be properly documented and steps would be taken address the problems, the minister maintained.

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Source: Daily Times (link opens in a new window)