SMEDA and NBP to facilitate SMEs access to finance

KARACHI: Mukesh Kumar, Provincial Chief Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) welcomed UNISAME President Zulfikar Thaver, MD Sindh Enterprises Development Fund Mehboob ul Haq, Dr. Shehzad Amin, Mubashir National Bank and SME representatives to discuss the issues of SMEs and new entrepreneurs in Pakistan in a meeting held at SMEDA Karachi office Tuesday, says a Press release.
The meeting highlighted the issues of access to finance, unemployment, support service for SMEs available at different forums, policies for energy, raw material availability, filling of technological gap, marketing support, innovative and value addition guidelines to entrepreneurs, encouragement and motivation to students and capacity building of SMEs.
Mukesh Kumar appreciated the participants for taking out time to discuss the highlighted issues of SMEs. He briefed about SMEDA, its role to facilitate SMEs through various interventions on macro and micro level as well as the mandate of SMEDA from the government.
Zulfikar Thaver informed that UNISAME created awareness, identified the impediments and suggested remedies. It is now deeply concerned about the increasing unemployment in the country and the difficulties faced by SMEs in access to finance. He also stressed the need for insurance at low cost premium
Mehboob ul Haq said there is no doubt that various opportunities exist in agriculture in the primary sector as agriculture is the backbone of the economy. Besides he said the agro-based industries could carry out value addition. The issues of farming technology and modernization of farms was also discussed. Besides other major crops he stressed on promotion of vegetable cultivation as fruitful for SME farmers.
All the participants were of the view that dissemination of financing schemes by banks should be shared with all stakeholders including, Chamber of Commerce, market associations and with academia, they requested access to finance under affordable rates, franchise finance facilities, pay as you earn schemes, New startups need support and guidance for entering into the retail, food, clothing, shelter and light engineering businesses.
Upgradation of existing SME units, installation of alternate energy devices, efficiency in agro processing business, dairy and livestock are the requirements of the sector and NBP must come forward in proactive manner to facilitate the SMEs.
It was decided that NBP, SMEDA and SEDF would conduct awareness programs for SME financing products available for various sectors of SMEs.

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