National Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Policy in the offing


Engineering Post Report

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)  play a key role in shaping  national growth strategies, employment generation and improving  standard of living of the vulnerable  segments of the society.

There is no denying the fact that SMEs are the backbone of the national economy but somehow lack adequate resources to adopt new technologies and improve their production based on latest developments.

Duly realizing the importance of the SMEs and for providing  much-needed impetus to SME sector and enhancing its competitiveness, the Federal Government  is developing  National SME Policy 2019  which will serve as Pakistan Government’s master plan  for providing  support  to catalyze  growth of this quite important sector.

The focus of the policy, so being formulated,  according to the information available from official quarters concerned,  as such is being laid  on job creation,  export enhancement and increased contribution of the SMEs in the development and strengthening of the national economy.

The policy will address core SME  development issues including  access to financial resources, business development services like human resources development, technology marketing, market access, standards and certifications etc , simplification and rationalization of  taxation regime and reduction in  cost of doing business.

Alongside, a cohesive strategic framework  for business facilitation  across the public sector  institutional infrastructure , both at the federal and provincial levels, will also be developed  for ensuring efficient, effective and result-oriented implementation  of the policy under the principle of  easing doing business.

For formulation of the National Policy, a participatory  process has already been adopted  to identify real challenges faced bt SME sector which will be coupled with  an effective strategy  to adequately address them.

In this regard, focus group discussions, workshops  and consultative sessions have already been held nationwide  in Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Peshawar, Swat,  Sialkot,  Gujranwala,  Gujrat and elsewhere  during last few months.

Eminent  researchers, representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industry , trade bodies and associations and academia are also actively involved in the Policy Making  Committee to provide necessary  guidance in the policy formulation process.

The first meeting of the Steering Committee for National SME Policy was held in December 2018. The draft policy is most likely to be submitted for consideration and approval of the federal cabinet  and its subsequent implementation at the national and provincial levels by the federal and provincial governments within next  couple of months before the year 2019 rolls out.