Small course urged to educate trade bodies

Karachi: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) to conduct a short term course to educate trade associations to play effective role in SME promotion and development all over the country.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver pointed out that almost every trade and services in the country has an association comprising of almost 90% of its members being SMEs and the associations are duty bound to promote the majority sector and with education on SME promotion and development they can do a much better job on scientific lines.

Thaver a member of the board of directors of SMEDA advised the chief executive officer of SMEDA Nawaz Ahmad Sukhera to arrange a full-fledged training programme for effective proactive role for the various associations to educate the committee members of the associations to work from grassroots level for the uplift of majority of their members who are SMEs and deserve the best attention of the associations.

He said most of the associations are politicized and have lunch and dinner meetings with photo sessions but the real issues of their SME members are not highlighted nor brought to the notice of the concerned ministries for resolution.

The associations are supposed to advocate the cause of their members big or small. They need to identify the impediments and offer remedies to remove the road blocks, They need to work to provide the latest and best information on the subject, arrange for modernization through transfer of technologies, improve the systems and offer guidance and education to their members.

The associations really need to work on alternate energy systems, security systems and infrastructure as the government cannot by itself achieve much, it is only with the help of the associations that the sector can make gains.

Most of the associations merely collect membership and admission fees and become active during elections but soon after elections they tend to become dormant and when the members approach them with their problems of taxation, harassment, extortion and poor law and order they do not bother to even lodge a complaint.

However the members expect the association to take up their matters and of course the association is duty bound to not only offer day to day guidance and support but work hand in hand with the government to formulate policy and long term planning for the respective trade or services which they represent.

He further added that SMEDA with the help and support of the various chambers of commerce and industries could organize the programmes for bringing about a positive change in the outlook and approach of the associations and turn them into effective and meaningful bodies having strong links with SMEDA.