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FAISALABAD: "Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) in line with its mandate to promote healthy competition for efficient economy is now focusing on SMEs and viable recommendations would be presented to the government after consultation with the stakeholders for its expeditious growth," said Ahmad Qadar Director General CCP.

Addressing a function in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI), he underlined the importance of SMEs in the overall economy and said that 5.2 million SMEs contribute 40% share in GDP and 26% in national exports. "Similarly forty five percent employees are also working with these SMEs for their livelihood," he said and added that despite its major role in the economy, they have only 7% access to available finances through banking channels.

He said that CCP is conducting an inclusive study to ensure level playing field to the SMEs and proper recommendations would be made to the Government. About the overall structure of CCP, he said that it has five major pillars aimed to promote healthy and efficient economic activities in the country. He said that CCP has been imposing fines on the violation of CCP rules and a record fine of Rs44 billion was imposed on the sugar sector.

He said that out of 17 targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Pakistan could achieve only two. He also underlined the importance of rooting out poverty and said that this sector has potential to offer maximum jobs to the unemployed youth but this sector is financially starved and could not make growth required to maintain its fundamental role in the national economy.

He appreciated the efforts of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) by launching various schemes to facilitate this most neglected sector but said that only two banks out of 51 could achieve their loaning targets to the SME sector.

Madam Maryam Zafar Joint Director CCP said that she has launched a comprehensive study to identify the problems faced by the SME sector. She said that banks are reluctant to issue loans to the SME sector in the absence of proper collateral and paperwork.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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