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Govt unveils SME policy to promote inclusive growth

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 15 : Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar unveiled the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Policy here on Wednesday, with special focus on promoting around 5 million businesses through facilitation in registration, streamlining of taxes, access to credit and provision of land.

The minister announced the policy during a press conference here. He was flanked by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry.

Bakhtiar said that this was for the first time that the policy comes with a proper implementation mechanism.

He said, the policy was made in 2007 but only in papers and asserted that this time it was being introduced with implementation mechanism under the supervision of National Coordination Committee with proper deadlines of tasks.

The minister said that there were around five million SME businesses in the country including one million in manufacturing sector in the shape of different enterprises.

The minister said that SME sector was playing crucial role in promoting inclusive economic growth in addition to providing 78 percent of employment (if agriculture is excluded) and promoting exports.

Elaborating various initiatives of the policy, the minister said that the policy was not only directional but many of its initiatives have already been implemented.

He said that the policy has relieved the businessmen of regulatory burden by either excluding the condition of obtaining No Objection Certificate (NOC) or have minimized its requirements.

He said, anyone interested in starting new business will not have to go from pillar to post for obtaining the NoC or involving any inspector.

He said ‘Zero time to start up’ initiative has been introduced under which the sector has been divided in three categories including low, medium and high risk SMEs.

The minister said that the NoC condition for the low risk businesses including services sector, wholesale transport has been abolished whereas the medium risk businesses such as light engineering, leather, auto-parts, sports goods and cutlery can get their approval within 30 days after applying for the same.

However, he added, SMEs working in explosive, fire, boiler and chemicals have been put on high risk category.

He said, that the policy also introduced self-declaration scheme under which the businessmen would follow the relevant laws voluntarily.

He added that only 2 percent of the self-declaration would be inspected physically adding that the government had developed a web portal, through which the businesses that are going to be inspected would be given date of inspection. This would reduce human intervention and promote transparency and check corruption.

ISLAMABAD, Dec 15 (APP): Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar unveiled the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Policy here on Wednesday, with special focus on promoting around 5 million businesses through facilitation in registration, streamlining of taxes, access to credit and provision of land.

The minister announced the policy during a press conference here. He was flanked by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry.

Bakhtiar said that this was for the first time that the policy comes with a proper implementation mechanism.

He said, the policy was made in 2007 but only in papers and asserted that this time it was being introduced with implementation mechanism under the supervision of National Coordination Committee with proper deadlines of tasks.

The minister said that there were around five million SME businesses in the country including one million in manufacturing sector in the shape of different enterprises.

The minister said that SME sector was playing crucial role in promoting inclusive economic growth in addition to providing 78 percent of employment (if agriculture is excluded) and promoting exports.

Elaborating various initiatives of the policy, the minister said that the policy was not only directional but many of its initiatives have already been implemented.

He said that the policy has relieved the businessmen of regulatory burden by either excluding the condition of obtaining No Objection Certificate (NOC) or have minimized its requirements.

He said, anyone interested in starting new business will not have to go from pillar to post for obtaining the NoC or involving any inspector.

He said ‘Zero time to start up’ initiative has been introduced under which the sector has been divided in three categories including low, medium and high risk SMEs.

The minister said that the NoC condition for the low risk businesses including services sector, wholesale transport has been abolished whereas the medium risk businesses such as light engineering, leather, auto-parts, sports goods and cutlery can get their approval within 30 days after applying for the same.

However, he added, SMEs working in explosive, fire, boiler and chemicals have been put on high risk category.

He said, that the policy also introduced self-declaration scheme under which the businessmen would follow the relevant laws voluntarily.

He added that only 2 percent of the self-declaration would be inspected physically adding that the government had developed a web portal, through which the businesses that are going to be inspected would be given date of inspection. This would reduce human intervention and promote transparency and check corruption.

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