Study conducted to enhance SMEs economic efficiency 

Engineering Post Report

The .Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP)  has conducted an extensive study  titled ” Enhancing  Economic Efficiency  of SMEs in Pakistan” identifying  barriers  to competition and formulating recommendations for improving  the economic efficiency of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

The study was based on data from 50 Financial Institutions, 18 focused group discussions, and  as many as 362 SMEs  across 11 cities of the country  as well as a seminar conducted on women entrepreneurs.

The study so conducted and completed has recommended reviewing  the definition of SME s in comparison to other regional countries, as the current  National SME Policy 2021 has excluded micro-enterprises, which amounted to overlooking  an important segment of the national policy focus. Additionally, the startups have been addressed in the  policy but their unique characteristics as a matter of  fact warranted separate  treatment in  line with the  best international  practices.

A comparison of definitions  across the Companies Act, SME Policy and IncomeTax Ordinance revealed  varying  thresholds  for revenue., innovation, and age , thereby indicating the dire need  for rationalization.

Moreover, establishing a clear and transparent  legal framework  for startups was also duly emphasized  for defining the rights and  obligations of all stakeholders operating and working within the startup ecosystem. The study has also highlighted  that access to finance was a significant barrier to SMEs growth. Despite policy measures for increasing  financing to 17 percent, the SME sector in Pakistan  was only receiving just 6.7 percent of the  private  sector financing, the study has pointed out.