KARACHI: Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President FPCCI, has appreciated EU’s TVET Sector Support Programs (TVET-SSP) for contributing towards skill development and providing vocational training to the youth of Pakistan and employees of SMEs, says a Press release.
FPCCI Chief extended his full support and facilitation from the platform of FPCCI to EU-backed TVET initiatives and expressed his desire to see youth of neglected regions of the country to benefit as well.
Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo also gave a bird’s eye view of the activities organized by FPCCI with the support of European Union (EU) after FPCCI signed an MoU with National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) for private sector development in January 2018 under TVET Sector Support Programme (TVET-SSP)with an objective to develop quality skills through supporting workplace-based training and by providing the employers a voice and role in the development of training policy and its implementation.
FPCCI Chief apprised the delegation that FPCCI has reactivated the joint secretariat of TVET and FPCCI at Federation House with a renewed vigour and have conducted high-profile training sessions in new technologies and management skills in Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar for SMEs and Women Entrepreneurs. He added that training sessions will continue throughout Pakistan for the rest of 2021 as well.
Head of the visiting delegation, David Pearson of EU TVET expressed his satisfaction over the progress made in TVET-SSP programs; while Thomas Lehmann, Team Leader for Sindh and Balochistan, detailed the objectives and activities of the training sessions.
In his message, Sultan Rehman, Focal Person on TVET-SSP from FPCCI, explained the rationale behind focus on hi-tech trainings in online selling and marketing tools like e-Commerce, AMAZON, Social Media Marketing, etc.
Amjad Rafi, Convener International at FPCCI, termed the reactivation of EU-backed TVET-SSP programs in Pakistan as a milestone achievement of FPCCI in 2021 under the visionary leadership of Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo. He added that FPCCI & TVET will be organizing Job Fairs in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar in collaboration with different universities during September-December 2021.
Engr. M.A. Jabbar, former VP FPCCI, said that we have to address the challenges of business world through knowledge and innovative thinking. He also emphasized the need to develop professional technicians like electricians, plumbers and carpenters in Pakistan as this will generate a lot of employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President FPCCI, has expressed his dissatisfaction over the exorbitant interest rate of up to 9% allowed to commercial banks under SBP’s SME Asaan Finance Scheme (SAAF). He said that SBP will provide refinancing to the commercial banks at 1% and they will be allowed to charge up to 8% on top of that, i.e. up to 9% in total.
FPCCI chief demanded that SAAF scheme should not have a total interest rate over 3.0% to make it at par with TERF to make it affordable for SMEs.
Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo added that SBP’s total refinance limit for the program appears to be a small and insignificant amount of Rs. 1.19bn as per budget documents for the year 2021-22; under the head of Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Collateral Free Lending to SMEs. He termed the miniscule amount for the SAAF scheme for the year 2021-22 a joke with SMEs.
Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo expressed his shock over the fact that the TERF scheme has a total overlay of Rs. 560bn and has mainly gone to large and established businesses and, on the other hand, SMEs continue to be neglected by SBP.
FPCCI chief has demanded that Pakistan needs an effective, inclusive, wide-ranging and collateral-free SMEs Finance Scheme backed by the State Bank of Pakistan and, in principle, it should be as big as TERF and should run into billions of rupees.
Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo said that another glaring flaw in the scheme is that commercial banks will have total discretion in approval of the financing under SAAF; which, in turn, will cause delays and disapprovals. He demanded that SBP should devise a transparent and definitive mechanism for the effective implementation and enforcement of the SAAF scheme.
FPCCI is eagerly looking forward to have a detailed and tangible consultative process with SBP officials to work out a progressive and growth-oriented finance package for SMEs of Pakistan – the real engine of economic growth & employment generation in Pakistan.