KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has lauded the mission statement of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and urged the government to facilitate the authority by strengthening it with resources to achieve its mission.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said SMEDA deserves the best attention of the government. It is an effective tool for SME promotion and development. The best solution would be to appoint a private sector expert to manage its affairs as the chief executive officer (CEO) and appoint SME experts on its board of directors (BOD) to accomplish its mission.
He quoted the mission of SMEDA which says “To assist in Employment Generation and Value Addition to the National Income, through Development of the SME Sector, by helping Increase the Number, Scale and Competitiveness of SMEs.”
He said the SME sector is the majority sector and has the potentiality to stimulate the economy. SMEDA is in a position to gear the sector for rapid growth by proper application of the SME promotion and development tools. It needs to be governed by experts who know the subject.
It is very unfortunate that SMEDA is being neglected and left without a BOD and CEO.
He emphasized that in most of the countries of the world the SME promotion and development authority is under the head of the state or the chief executive who directly monitors the promotional activities of the organization.
In Pakistan it can be placed under the cabinet division and the Prime Minister (PM) could keep constant touch with the authority to ensure its promotional and development work.
The scope of SMEDA could be increased to include SME farmers which is the primary sector and forms an important part of the supply chain.
The agro based industries need support and guidance for upgrading on modern lines. The livestock, poultry, fishing, horticulture, green house farming, dairy farming also need encouragement, facilities, motivation and education for modernization.
The food industry, light engineering, auto parts, textiles, fashion industry, footwear, e-Commerce all need the help of SMEDA in all the provinces and SMEDA could help in export promotion of SME products.
Most of the personnel have left SMEDA and it is lacking personnel as it has only 110 personnel in all its branches and head office. It seems as though the authority is dying its own death and the government seems disinterested in its affairs for reasons best known to it.
UNISAME has urged the government to take serious interest in SME promotion and development and follow the suggestions and recommendations of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank to revamp the organizations for effective work.
UNISAME chief lamented that international organizations are seeking advice from us but our own government is not following our expert advice.
He said that we advised the government to set up SME Chamber of Commerce to promote the sector, SME Export House to promote export of SME wares, SME Credit Guarantee to make the banks comfortable in financing the sector, SME Ombudsman to resolve grievances of the SMEs, SME-LC for liaison between SMEs and law enforcing agencies and Technical Institute to fill the technological gap but due to lethargy all these are shelved although preliminary work has been done on all the projects.