‘Iron out creases in the budget’


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been playing a key role in providing impetus to economic development, therefore Government should allocate sufficient amount of budget for SMEs development to stimulate the growth of trade and industry in the country. Pakistan is spending the lowest budget on SME development as compared to other nations of the world, thus, Government should provide enough funds in upcoming budget of 2012-13 for strengthening SME sector of the country, Yassar Sakhi Butt, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said this during a meeting with private sector representatives of SME sector. ICCI President said that SMEs sector should be given priority to make it as an effective tool for economic development and Government should not show reluctance in allocating funds for SMEs development. He said that Government has only provided Rs.40million for SME Development Support Fund in FY2011-12 which should be increased up to substantial level as the promotion of SMEs entails enhancement of the competitiveness of the economy and generation of additional employment. He cited the example of Brazilian economy, which was spending $7.24 per capita on its SME agency. President ICCI was of the view our country is facing economic crunch and the optimum way of getting out of these difficulties is to facilitate the maximum growth of SMEs as promotion of SMEs would lead to creation of more job opportunities, proper utilization of young talent, emergence of thriving middle class and reduction in poverty, ultimately leading to the acceleration of economic activities in the country. Yassar Sakhi Butt stressed that the real challenge of the government is to set the SME policy in a way that these enterprises could be transformed from static to dynamic units. ICCI President further said that Government should revise taxation structure for SMEs as both India and China attempt to lower SME taxation to help the economy grow and in turn boost investor confidence. Thus, our Government should also draw a similar map of the taxation structure for SME sector, he maintained.