Facilitating SMEs is Government’s Top Priority: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the commerce ministry to create a Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority for uplifting the SME sector.

The prime minister was presiding over a meeting of his economic team which discussed measures for uplifting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), construction sector, poverty alleviation, progress on the Ehsaas anti-poverty program Ehsaas and steps taken by different ministries to accelerate economic growth, a PM Office statement said.

The prime minister said the promotion of SMEs, uplift of agriculture and facilitation of the construction sectors is among the government’s top priorities and will accelerate the economic growth other than creating employment opportunities.

While briefing the meeting, Governor State Bank of Pakistan told the prime minister that uplift of SMEs, agriculture and the construction sectors were among the State Bank’s top priorities as well.

The prime minister was informed that the SMEs’ contribution to the business sector was around 90 percent and 40 percent in the total production. Besides agriculture, around 80 percent of the country’s workforce is linked to the SME sector.

SBP governor said the SMEs are also being facilitated to complete their business documentation besides using information technology for improvement and easing their taxation system. The regulatory framework and loan disbursement for SMEs have also been eased.

The meeting was informed that the SMEs contributed around 90 percent share in trading activities in the country, and the limit of small loans has been enhanced up to Rs. 1 million, besides reducing the small loan processing duration from one month to 15 days and 25 days for medium loans.

The SBP governor also said that the banks have given loans worth Rs. 513 billion to the SMEs, whereas this figure was Rs. 288 billion in 2014, and the total credit to SMEs is expected to reach around Rs. 1.3 trillion by 2023.

This would create around two million jobs and increase exports by $5 billion, SBP governor added.

FBR issues notification for amendments in SMEs rules

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has announced amendments in the Export Oriented Units and Small and Medium Enterprises Rules 2008. The board announced this on Twitter:

The spokesperson tweeted that under the leadership of Mr. Shabbar Zaidi, FBR has simplified the export scheme and provided new incentives to the business community.


Moreover, the FBR chairman has directed to update the units of measurement for facilitating trade activities.