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PM Imran launches long-awaited SME policy

20 Jan, 2022
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that a $500m investment has come in start-up and this policy is a step in the right direction. File photo
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that a $500m investment has come in start-up and this policy is a step in the right direction. File photo

Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched a Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) policy with a warning of strict action to those departments that would create hurdles for the agriculture, industry or the services sectors.

Addressing the ceremony after the launch of the SMEs policy, the prime minister also warned departments or individual of action for creating hurdles in exports, and stated that Singapore and Malaysian exports, once lesser than Pakistan are now greater. There is a great role of the SMEs in wealth creation and the government would go in one direction.

“We have decided that the government would take action against the department that would create hurdles for the sector that would be providing employment opportunities, whether agriculture, industry or services sectors. We have reduced for the SMEs in the policy with regard to credit to start their business, he said,” adding that besides credit, land is so expensive in the country and the government would arrange land for them on lease.

He said that the country had huge potential of youth and the government should facilitate them through the SMEs to start their own business.

He said that a $500 million investment has come in start-up and this policy is a step in the right direction.

The prime minister said that the government would focus on exports and would go to any extent to facilitate those SMEs that would be exporting and engage in import substitution.

He said that regulations have been made to prevent the growth of the SMEs and the red-tape has become a hurdle for start-ups.

He said that the government has tried to minimise regulations and the NOCs.

“The government would take full benefit of information technology to remove the hurdles, and the policy being launched would be beneficial for the society and the economy.”

The prime minister said in implementation of the SME policy, all the problems and issues would be removed.

The prime minister said that the present government inherited massive economic challenges as the government was not able to meet the country’s liabilities and was helped by three friendly countries, Saudi Arabia, China, and the UAE.

This was followed by coronavirus but the country handled the virus and the economy very effectively during the Covid crisis and this was acknowledged by the world, he added. The government would not close the economy but the SOPs would be followed during the current wave, he said.

The Afghan crisis also put pressure on the rupee and inflation in the country was first controlled from devaluation and after Covid, commodity prices increase in the global market, created a wave of inflation across the world including in Pakistan, he said.

He said that record export, record remittance, and record tax collection reflect wealth creation in the country.

The prime minister said that revenue collection as promised by him would increase to Rs8 trillion in the country during the tenure of the present government as it is bringing automation, as well as, track and trace system to check sales tax evasion by manufacturers, and a software is being developed with the help of the NADRA to trace those people not paying taxes.

The premier said that record credit was disbursed to the private sector and for the first time, an agriculture transformation plan would yield record output of five major crops.

This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 20, 2022.