Government of Pakistan to Form Consultative Group to Support Women Owned SMEs

The Government of Pakistan has decided to form a consultative group comprising public and private stakeholders to support women-owned small and medium-sized businesses. Under the new SME policy, the Ministry of Industry and Production will lead this group to formulate and implement policy measures to facilitate women-owned SMEs.

Under the new SME policy, many measures were suggested for women-owned SMEs. The policy proposes to ensure the implementation of the “banking on equality” policy of the State Bank of Pakistan. The policy also suggests a simplification of taxation procedures and tax rates for women-owned small and medium-sized businesses. It has also decided to open a one-window facility for female entrepreneurs for enhanced access to information.

New SME policy also suggests creating a women-friendly work environment by establishing display centers, display facilities, emporiums, etc. Under this policy, it has been suggested to develop specialized facilitation programs in areas such as starting and managing a business, accounting, and bookkeeping, fulfilling tax liabilities, marketing, digitalization, etc. The new policy proposes to develop linkages with demotic and international markets through aggregation models.

The federal government approved the SME policy on December 15, 2021. According to the Ministry of Industries and Production, women entrepreneurs will be supported with special focus areas including support for greater access to finance, awareness and training, and advisory services. The ministry is devising a plan of 25 percent tax exemption for women-owned small and medium-sized businesses as well.

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