SMEs worldwide engine of economic growth: Kashif Ashfaq

LAHORE: Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Furniture Council Mian Kashif Ashfaq Thursday said small and medium enterprises worldwide are dubbed as an engine of economic growth and advancing soft loans to this vital sector always contribute significantly towards bettering the economy of a country besides strengthening industrial base.
Talking to a delegation of women entrepreneurs led by Ms Nida Ejaz here today,PFC Chief said bank advances to SMEs rose to Rs 524 bn during the second quarter of current fiscal year which he added is good omen and will have salutary impact on SMEs across the country besides generating ample job opportunities to help alleviate the sufferings of down trodden.He said government has been according special attentions to boosting financing to this crucial sector to expand the country’s industrial and manufacturing base and to achieve this goal.
He said policy kicked off a couple of months ago mainly aimed at extending facilities and incentives to promote the growth of SMEs. He said that SMEs apart from industrial growth can also significantly help a lot in providing job opportunities to jobless at their home towns which he added will also be instrumental checking unnecessary influx of rural population towards urban areas and big cities.
Mian Kashif Ashfaq said an amount of rs 39 bn has also been approved for Kamyab Jawan Business program soft loans which will be disbursed among 25,700 youths. He said under the new SME policy,the requirement of NOC for establishing and expansion of certain industries has also been abolished to fully encourage and facilitate especially the new entrants.
Ms Nida Ejaz urged the government to earmark specific target oriented funds to promote women entrepreneurs in the SMEs sector which she added constituted major chunk of the total population of the country.She said women furniture manufacturers, importers and exporters should also been give due representation in policy and decision making forums and FBR should also bee directed to address the genuine grievances being confronted by them.