SMEDA, UNDP launch right to do business project in Karachi

Karachi: The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) here Saturday launched the “Right To Do Business” project at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) to strengthen the street vendors, small traders and growers.

Muslim Raza, provincial chief SMEDA welcomed the participants and explained that “Supporting Pro-Poor Governance for Legal Empowerment of the Poor (PRO- GOLE)is a UNDP funded project being implemented by SMEDA and aims to support and strengthen marginalized business through advocacy of legal rights and facilitation for improved legal service delivery.

He said under the project, legal service outreach will be extended to marginalized stakeholders such as street vendors, small traders, growers and the under privileged. In addition, marginalized businesses will be mobilized to access business services.

Chief guest Mian Abrar Ahmed president KCC&I assured full support and assistance and said the KCC&I has 17000 members comprising of big, small and medium sized business persons and the chamber is obliged to look after the interest of all its members,

Sultan Tiwana general manager SMEDA answered the questions of association leaders and said the very object of the project was to empower the micro and SMEs to enable them know their rights and seek remedies of their grievances in the proper forums with the help of SMEDA.

Justice (R) Sherwani, director of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) also endorsed the views and pointed out that his forum was available to resolve disputes between parties on the basis of consent of both the parties by reconciliation which is practiced in many countries of the world.

Zulfikar Thaver member board of directors (BOD) SMEDA said when the SME policy was framed it was mentioned in the preamble that SME promotion is no charity it is the right of the SME and said it is the responsibility of the state to facilitate, promote and protect the rights of the under privileged sector. He promised to advocate the cause of the SMEs to the best of his ability and urged the sector to educate itself of the relevant laws and practices.

Likewise he explained it is the duty of the progressive nations to support the less developed nations and the UNDP is following the principle of supporting programmes for the uplift of the micro and SMEs in that spirit.

Asif Bhatti of UNDP the main donors for the project explained the mechanism of inculcating the habit of learning the law and then applying it to seek remedy. He emphasized the urgent need to strengthen the sector to overcome the difficulties faced by the small traders due to lack of knowledge and support from the government.

On the suggestion of Zulfikar Thaver member BOD SMEDA, the president of KCC&I Mian Abrar Ahmed agreed to set up an Help Line for the micro, and SMEs for round the clock redress of grievances to be managed jointly with SMEDA and KCC&I.

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