Lahore, April 25, 2018 (PPI-OT): After a round of consultation across the country, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has submitted recommendations for Federal Budget 2018-19 to the Ministry of Industries and Production, Ministry of Finance and Federal Board of Revenue to seek special attention for SMEs in the upcoming budget. Mr. Sher Ayub, Chief Executive Officer of SMEDA, in a press statement issued here today, has informed that the proposals were developed in consultation with SME stakeholders, Trade Associations and Chambers of Commerce and Industries.
Nationwide Budget Consultative Sessions in 7 cities including Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Sialkot were held to solicit inputs from the business community, he said and informed that during interaction with stakeholders various constraints to growth were highlighted to seek special treatment for SMEs in the sphere of policy and fiscal matters.
According to CEO SMEDA, the Budget recommendations submitted to the government include simplification of tax procedures/ documentation, reduction in number and frequency of taxes for SMEs and reduction in corporate tax for small companies from 25% and 20%. Furthermore, it has been proposed that a one stop shop to deal with tax/ business related legal, regulatory documentation and compliance issues of SMEs may be established. Exemption in sales tax rate on import of machinery and raw material as well as tariff rates and other procedural measures have also been proposed to enhance productivity of SMEs.
In order to enhance SMEs share in total exports, SMEDA has proposed to establish export-clusters for technology intensive products of engineering, chemicals, value added textile and pharmaceutical sector, Mr. Sher Ayub said and informed that the business community has called for establishment of Industrial estates and export processing zones exclusively for SMEs in each province to provide state of the art facilitation. Strengthening of dry port at Peshawar, establishment of Expo Centers at Quetta and Peshawar and quality certification and testing labs for promoting regional and international trade have also been recommended, CEO SMEDA added.
In order to increase SMEs access to credit, SMEDA has recommended the government to introduce financial schemes for new startups and women entrepreneurs. This includes; relaxation in mark-up rates and loans on soft conditions. Equity financing for SMEs by commercial banks, venture capital firms and angel investment programs have also been suggested. In view of the significance of SME sector to the economy, SMEDA has exclusive urged the government to provide necessary support to the sector by ensuring allocation of resources and incentives in the Federal Budget 2018-19 to create a conducive business environment for SMEs.
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Category: General Business News