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Revival & uplift of small and cottage industries stressed

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KARACHI: Majority of the speakers at a meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter were of the view that revival and development of small and cottage industries was crucial for the economic progress of the country as entire industrial progress of western countries, Russia, China and South Korea was indebted to cottage industries, says a Press release.
The meeting was held yesterday on the theme: “The important role of small and cottage industries in the uplift of national economy”, chaired by Justice (Retd) Haziqul Khairi at Hamdard Corporate Office, Karachi.
Speaking on the occasion, Zafar Iqbal, President, Small and Medium Enterprises Alliance (SAMEA) said that small and medium enterprises (SAMEs) played pivotal role in the development of every country and all developed economies like USA, European Union, Russia, China and South Korea have achieved stellar growth only because of SAMEs.
‘In Pakistan 96 out of 100 businesses fall into SME category which generates 40 per cent of GDP and 90 per cent employment. SMEs can be established with small investments and generates many job opportunities; for example to establish a refinery billions of rupees are needed where only 400 to 500 people work whereas with such colossal amount, hundreds of SMES can be established all over the country which would generate millions of job opportunities, he added.
The Managing Director of KH PHAMA Textile Processing (PTV) Ltd., Mansoor Mubeen said that the very first day large industries were given preference over SMEs which resulted into birth of 22 rich families but there was no trickledown effect. If SMEs were not developed, Pakistan would never be able to surpass Japan even in two centuries, he added. He further said Finance Minister, Asad Umer himself admitted that there was no registered forum for SMEs, which could hold dialogue with government.
Mrs. Sadia Rashid, President, Hamdard Foundation Pakistan said that small and domestic industry should be promoted for overall sustainable economic development. This sector would not only empower women but also help them to have better livelihood, income generation and financial independence, she added.
Renowned social worker, Ms. Shamim Kazmi said that it was imperative to have sound local government system to promote SME sector in Pakistan, so that women workers could be protected from political influences. ‘The most plausible way to develop economy is to financially empowering women who make up half of the population,’ she asserted.
Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of Karachi, Prof. Dr. Akhlaque Ahmed said that China could not make tremendous economic progress without developing its small and cottage industries. Bangladesh became a big exporter of ready-made garments because of its cottage industry. In fact, over all industrial development in the world was started from small and cottage industry, he maintained.
Engineer Ibn al-Hasan was of the opinion, if we wanted to reduce poverty in the country we should have to promote small and domestic industries and for this purpose an integrated policy and planning be chalked out forthwith.
Engineer Anwarul Haq Siddiqui was of the views that technical and vocational education and training with IT skills was the only solution of poverty, unemployment and industrial growth.
Dr. Muhammed Amir Taseen suggested that the small and cottage industry should be started with prisoners as they have ample time to work in prisons.
Col (Retd) Mukhtar Ahmed Butt said that Pakistan was not a poor country as the nation made charity of Rs. 70 billion every year. Registration of small industries was necessary for their progress and they should get themselves registered in their own interest so that they could avail privileges and concessions from government to compete in international markets.
Anwar Aziz Jakartawalla said, there were near about 745 million SMEs in the country and only five per cent had registration, because of the treatment of 67 government agencies who haunted them and they even didn’t open bank accounts out of their fear.
Dr. Abu Bakr Sheikh said that the country’s industry was destroyed through a planned conspiracy. So we have to revive our whole industry, including domestic industry, on self-help basis without looking at government’s incentives.
Justice (Retd) Pervez Zia, Prof. Dr. Shaheen Habib, Salim Mughal, Mrs. Mussarrat Akram, Huma Baig and Usman Damohi also spoke.

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