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KARACHI: On Tuesday, SMEA President Zafar Iqbal claimed the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been totally ignored in the budget 2018-19.
The sector’s genuine demands including the removal of conditions for getting bank loans and ease of doing business were not accepted, said Mr. Iqbal, the leader of Small and Medium Enterprises Alliance (SMEA).
The budget carries a number of good incentives and tax concessions for super rich segment but it has totally ignored a sector which constitutes up to 96% of trade and industry, he stated.
“All over the world SMEs are the driving force behind economic activities as they provide up to 80% jobs and are spread all over the country. The SMEs contribution is up to 40% in GDP but the proposed budget has not even mentioned the sector’s name,” he said.
Mr. Iqbal said that SMEA has been urging the government to remove the condition of collateral for getting bank loans by SMEs because it is too rigid and enterprises with inadequate resources cannot meet this condition.
Similarly, he said, the demand for ease of doing of business by reducing number of government agencies engaged in collecting different levies such social security and old age benefits should also be obliterated was also not met.
The rules governing SMEs, he said, are also complex and SMEA has demanded to relax and ease these rules for micro enterprises which are not that much equipped with modern tools and skills.
Mr. Iqbal said that no worthy incentives were proposed in budget 2018-19 for the growth of the largest sector of the economy which provides jobs and skills across the broad spectrum from grass root level.
He urged the government that before passing the budget 2018-19 in the National Assembly, a review should be made for including some incentives for the growth of SMEs.