A unified definition of Small and Medium Enterprises should be derived through country-wide consultation with the stakeholders: Business Leaders

Islamabad, April 20, 2016 (PPI-OT): A unified definition of SME should be derived through country-wide consultation with the stakeholders. It was unanimously observed by participants of a consultative session organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) the other day at SMEDA Head Office.

Participants of the session from public and private sector included Mr. Almas Hyder, Senior Vice President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mian Rehman Aziz, Vice President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Mr. Rehmatullah Javed Convener Standing Committee on SMEs LCCI, , Ms. Rukhsana Khan, Senior Vice President Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mr. Imran Shabbir Abbasi, Senior Vice President of Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders, Mr. Abdul Jalil Khan, Deputy Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, Mr. Akhtiyar Ahmad, Joint Director of State Bank of Pakistan, and senior representatives of Federal Board or Revenue, National Bank of Pakistan and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

Mr. Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry CEO SMEDA, Mr. Haroon Ahmed Khan GM Business and Sector Development Services, Dr. Naeem Rauf GM Central Support, , Ms. Nadia Jahangir Seth GM Policy and Planning and Raja. Hassanien Javed Provincial Chief SMEDA Punjab were also present.

The participants acknowledged that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy, as they serve as a tool for poverty alleviation and employment generation. Designing well-integrated programs for development of this vital sector, therefore, has been at the forefront of economic development strategies of developed and emerging countries. The most important aspect of devising SME development strategy, however, has been defining “Who the SMEs are?” Thus, SMEs have been distinctly defined, in both, developing and emerging countries such as USA, Singapore, China, India, Malaysia, Turkey and Bangladesh according to their own economic dynamics.

In Pakistan, despite the fact that, the SME definition was approved in the SME Policy 2007, various Government agencies, e.g. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Provincial Departments, etc. use their own definitions. Absence of a single agreed upon SME definition makes it difficult in identifying target groups, aligning development programs, collecting data and subsequently monitoring progress.

At the occasion, Mr. Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry, CEO SMEDA highlighted the need for implementing a single SME definition across the country, so that effective policy measures, business development support systems and incentives may be designed for adequate targeting. Ms. Nadia Jahangir Seth GM-Policy and Planning made a brief presentation on the state of SME sector in Pakistan and need for unanimous SME definition. During the session, public and private sector stakeholders discussed various SME definitions prevalent in Pakistan and agreed that there is a need to develop a definition to be adopted by all institutional stakeholders in the country.

They also stressed upon the need to segregate and define cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises as their support requirements are distinct in nature and require dedicated attention of policy makers and financial institutions to address their individual needs. Stakeholders appreciated SMEDA’s effort for organizing a session to discuss this important issue.

During the discussion, public and private sector stakeholders discussed various SME definitions prevalent in Pakistan and agreed that there is a need to develop a definition to be adopted by all institutional stakeholders in the country. They also stressed upon the need to segregate and define cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises as their support requirements are distinct in nature and require dedicated attention of policy makers and financial institutions to address their individual needs. Stakeholders appreciated SMEDA’s effort for organizing a session to discuss this important issue.

For more information, contact:
Liaqat Ali Gohar
DGM (Admin. and PR)
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA)
4th Floor, Building No. 3, Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex,
Egerton Road, Lahore
Tel: +92-42-111-111-456
Fax: +92-42-36304926-7
Email: aligohar@smeda.org.pk, helpdesk@smeda.org.pk
Website: www.smeda.org.pk