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LAHORE: Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmood, Federal Minister Industries and Production has said that he will play a pro-active role in strengthening interministrial coordination for swift development of SME sector. It was stated by him while holding a first meeting with senior officials and SME experts of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) Sunday at SMEDA head office. Hashim Raza, Chief Executive Officer along with General Managers of various divisions and departments of SMEDA attended the meeting.

The Minister said that the SMEDA facilitation activities and initiatives should be able to boost up small industries to the level of medium enterprises in a due course of time. He said, country needs to have equitable cross-sectoral development of SMEs in all provinces. He advised SMEDA to lay down a special SME development package for the province of Balochistan and assured to pan an earliest visit to Balochistan. He was confident that Balochistan could play significant role in export enhancement of the country for having joint border with Iran coupled with a long coastal line.

The federal Minister further said that the country being an agriculture country had a great potential of promoting agri-businesses of the SME level. He specially tasked SMEDA to plan initiatives for enhancing direct market access of the farmers by reducing the role of middle traders of the agricultural produces. He also advised to develop strategies for promoting processing industries based upon agricultural potential of the country.

Earlier, CEO SMEDA Hashim Raza welcomed the Federal Minister and apprised him about the development projects, programs and facilitation measures currently being implemented by SMEDA. He told that the fresh SME policy had fulfilled almost all requirements and demands of SMEs. It just needed an effective cohesion of the federal and provincial government departments dealing with business and industry. He informed that under the SME Policy about 19500 small plots on over 4200 Acres of lands have been allocated for SMEs at provincial level. We need to have detail of the allocation so that the incentive can be promoted through SMEDA, he added.

The provincial offices of SMEDA were connected through zoom on this occasion and provincial Chiefs of Sindh, Balochistan and KP briefed about SMEDA activities to be conducted at provincial level. Nadia Jahangir Seth, General Manager Policy and Planning, Ashfaq Ahmad, General Manager Business and Sector Development, Raja Hassanien Javed, General Manager/In charge National Business Development Program and Sheharyar Tahir, Director External Affairs of SMEDA were prominent amongst others who attended the Meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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