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.