Small and Medium Enterprises in Pakistan

Engineering Post Report

Globally, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)  are recognized  as a critical pillar for poverty alleviation , as they generate employment opportunities, increase  living standards, and promote equitable  income distribution.

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) is an agency of the federal government in Pakistan  which is  responsible  for promoting  the development of SMEs in the country. It has a comprehensive mandate  to promote the growth  of the SME sector in the country.  It has a comprehensive mandate  to promote  the growth of  the SME sector  in order to support  their role  in the economic development,  with initiatives  that include  business development services,   infrastructure  development, industry support, human  capital  development, and  partnerships with the national and  international organizations.

Key activities/achievements  during last financial year were many including National SME Policy; National Business Development Programme for SMEs; Institutional strengthening  & Stakeholders Networking, SMEDA ONE WINDOW–A Step towards Creating a Hassle-Free Business Environment for SMEs, Technology Upgradation, Common Facility  Centres & Business Facilitation Centres among others which will be  mentioned in a bit detail some other times.

Here two of SMEDA’s activities are being mentioned in some detail, please.

Special Projects with International Development Partners

According to the  information available from concerned sources, SMEDA was working with international development partners  on two projects.

The first was the SMEDA Industrial Support Programme, which provides  technical  assistance to SMEs to  improve productivity , quality and energy efficiency..

During the period under report here, the programme introduced Japanese productivity improvement tools, conducted  training programmes, performed  energy audits, provided technical assistance for Photovoltaic (PV)  system installation , implemented  Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, and  developed  technical guides.

The second project was called GRASP and aims to boost  the competitiveness  of small  scale firms  in the livestock  and horticulture  sectors in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

During the same period, SMEDA had supported  the project by  procuring office equipment, acquiring  office spaces,  conducting  need assessments,  and organizing  training programmes. 

Additionally, new businesses were also registered in Sindh and Balochistan provinces. 

SMEDA was also executing a federal government sponsored  project under the Public  Sector Development Programme (PSDP) which aims at promoting  value addition  in the field of textile garments .

The project  seeks  to establish industrial stitching units across  the country  by providing  financial assistance  through matching grants. Under this project, 60 percent of the grant in the form of machinery  is funded by the project while the  owner/entrepreneur  of the stitching  units bears the remaining 40 percent of the cost.

The total cost of the project is Rs 350.54 million and it was approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in January 2018.An estimated expenditure Rs  184.491 million was reported to have been incurred till end June 2023 and balance of Rs 164.140 million  has been provided under PSDP for the current financial year. As already reported, the project is  likely to be completed by end June 2024..

Under the project, 40 units were planned to be established during last financial year 2022-23 .Another 156 applications were received during the first three quarters of financial year 2023-4 and validated.