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Pakistan

PM Imran launches SME policy, says govt focused on wealth creation

  • Special exemption in taxes will be given to entrepreneurs and young people under the policy, says prime minister
Updated 19 Jan, 2022

Prime Minister Imran Khan formally launched on Wednesday the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) policy 2021, saying that the government’s entire focus was on generating new means of wealth creation in the country.

In December 2021, the federal government had approved a comprehensive SME policy to enhance the country's industrial and manufacturing base.

While addressing the launch ceremony of the SME policy, the premier said that small and medium industries can significantly help in boosting the country's industrial base as well.

“The policy is aimed at extending facilitation and incentives to promote the growth of small and medium enterprises,” he said.

Govt approves SME policy with incentives to boost growth

Khan said special exemption in taxes will be given to entrepreneurs and young people under the policy.

“Pakistan has the second-highest young population globally. We have to support and facilitate our young population,” the premier said.

He said that one of the reasons for Pakistan’s economic breakdown is linked to the massive existence of bureaucratic red-tapism.

“We have experienced red-tapism at several stages in our government. It exists in every level of the bureaucratic hierarchy,” he said adding that “we are working to eliminate excessive regulations to facilitate businesses”.

NOCs not needed for setting up or expanding certain units: SME policy envisages Rs10m guarantee-free loan

The premier said that he was happy that millions of dollars of investment had come to Pakistan in 2021 via startups.

"Previously, we did not have any," he remarked.

He was referring to Pakistan's startups that witnessed a stellar run in 2021, generating over $324 million during the year.

During the calendar year 2021, Pakistani startups finally made their presence felt in the international arena, raising over $324 million, as compared to $60 million raised in 2020, but also more than the amount raised in all previous years combined.

The premier in his remarks said that his government will give “special preferences" to businesses that create jobs and help in wealth creation.”

Earlier, sharing details of the policy, Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar said that the requirement of NOC for the establishment or expansion of certain industries had been abolished under the SME policy.

Tarin to hold meeting with SME policy stakeholders today

The minister said that under the SME policy, the 'Aasan Finance Scheme' was being introduced to ensure access of capital to the industries.

Under the scheme, a loan of up to Rs10 million will be provided without any collateral for the establishment of thirty thousand new businesses. He said a land of 4,200 acres had been allocated which will be provided to the entrepreneurs in easy installments.

Under the policy, productive businesses will be given 57-83% special exemptions in taxes. He said special exemptions in taxes will be given to women entrepreneurs in order to ensure greater participation in businesses.

An official told Business Recorder earlier that the policy envisages increasing the economic contribution of SMEs with sustained growth of 9% per annum in the next four to five years and services sector of the enterprises to 10% per annum by 2025 from existing growth of 4.43% in 2020-21.

The policy also targets increasing average SME sector employment to 5% per annum from 2.43% during the last three years besides increasing SME sector exports 10% per annum by 2025.

SME credit will be increased from Rs437.57 billion to Rs800 billion while the number of SMEs would go up from 172,1393 to 700,000 by the fiscal year 2025.

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