October 01, 2021: Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar Thursday said the government would launch an SME policy next month with focus on productivity enhancement and competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the local and global market to achieve sustainable development in the country.
He was addressing a seminar for women entrepreneurs on “Introduction to Productivity Journey and SMEs Fund for Business Recovery and Resilience for Covid-19 effected SMEs” here at the NPO.
The event was attended by Parliamentary Secretary Industries and Production Alia Hamza Malik, CEO National Productivity Organization Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry and members of women's chambers from across the country.
The session was organized with the objective to improve productivity awareness of women entrepreneurs and active engagement in SMEs Fund initiated by NPO through support of Asian Productivity Organization (APO).
Talking at the session, the minister highlighted government’s efforts to support industrial development through a set of policies and tax benefits to industries and specifically women entrepreneurs.
He also shared the government would introduce specialized credits for firms with provisions for majority of women.
The minister requested the women participants to share their proposals with government as it was highly committed to support business community in Pakistan. He noted that proposed SME policy would outline incentives for women-oriented businesses thus reducing gender gap in financial inclusion and mainstreaming the role of women in the economy.
He said that MoIP would allot land to SMEs on rental lease model in SEZs.
He called for special lending scheme for garment sector and IT enabled services within purview of SME policy.
Addressing to the session, Parliamentary Secretary Industries and Production Aliya Hamza highlighted that Ministry of Industries & Production (MoIP) through its sub-ordinate organizations like NPO and SMEDA was playing an active role to facilitate the women entrepreneurs so that they might excel in their relevant fields.
The government was focusing on entrepreneurial opportunities for sustainable employment growth, skill based education and engagement of youth and women in socio economic affairs, she added.
MNA Saira Bano also shared that government would take solid initiatives to utilize potential of women entrepreneurs through NPO, SMEDA, TUSDEC and other relevant MoIP organizations.
Federal Parliamentary Secretary for National Heritage and Culture Division, Ghazala Saifi also briefed the participants that Lok Virsa was facilitating women entrepreneurs to sell their products /services.
She also mentioned that their division would support free stalls for deserving women identified and recommended through chambers.
CEO – SMEDA Hashim Raza while sharing his views said that women focused SME development was a key priority of SMEDA, MoIP and the organization had taken key initiatives to support women entrepreneurs including Women Entrepreneurs Incubation Centre, National Business Development Program and Industrial Stitching Unit Grants.
CEO – NPO Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry briefed the participants that it was the first step towards launching productivity movement in Pakistan as the government had recently approved NPO project “Improving Competitiveness through Sustainable National Productivity (SNP)” which aimed to enhance productivity awareness among masses through trainings, seminars, conferences, engagement of experts and awareness tools like productivity portal, journal, walks, competitions, curriculums etc.