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ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to make it easier for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to avail of lower interest rates offered by the central bank.

The CCP report on the SME sector revealed key recommendations to revise the SME Policy 2021. The key recommendations of the SME Policy 2021 fall into four main domains.

The key recommendations within each domain included regulatory and tax-related measures to improve business climate; initiation and implementation of a process to refine the regulatory system through review, simplification, elimination, and guillotine and reduction of unnecessary intrusion of inspectors and payment of all fees and taxes through e-challans.

93pc of SMEs find availing bank financing cumbersome: CCP

The CCP has also recommended establishment of an E inspection portal at the federal and provincial regulatory departments.

The CCP has also recommended a gradual reduction in Withholding Tax with a corresponding increase in formalization and Sales/Income Tax receipts.

The CCP has also recommended reduction of import tariffs on raw materials, intermediate goods, and machinery and prioritise the SMEs for pending payments for sales tax and duty drawback refunds. Establishing bonded warehouses for the import of key inputs.

The CCP has also recommended establishment of a National Coordination Committee to lead the agenda of SME development and ensure implementation of the National SME Policy, 2021.

The National Coordination Committee will be supported by provincial working groups set up in each province under the Chief Secretaries, the CCP added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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