Governmental attention sought for small businessMay 21, 2013
Karachi: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) urged the incoming government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) to focus on ground realities and begin uplift from grass root level which is very necessary as the micro, small and medium sector needs the immediate support of the government.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver speaking on a talk show at a private business television channel said the business community is aware of political statements of pre-election and post election meetings but now expects performance from the PML-N knowing that it is business friendly and having expertise to put the economy in gear.
He welcomed the statements of Nawaz Sharif about improving relations with India and also with other political parties within the country.
He demanded one window operation for the SME sector and urged the PML-N to make doing business easy by merging the different levies, charges and taxes into one composite tax.
He said Pakistan needs the International Monetary Fund (IMF) support and cannot do without IMF but IMF expects austerity, good governance and good management from the incoming government. Pakistan needs to avail the support of IMF selectively and perform well in the face of challenges.
He said as member of board of directors of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) he studied India as a role model and learned that India succeeded in developing its economy because of value addition and by promoting its farm sector and emphasized that the incoming government should focus on value addition and promotion of farm sector.
He said Pakistan has ample solar resources due to the ample sunlight in most part of the country but it is not being utilized for energy creation.
He urged the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) and Engineering Development Board (EDB) to work on this and secondly also urged them to make coolers suitable for use in Sindh to save electricity utilized by air conditioners. These organizations need to work on alternate energy systems on a full time basis to resolve the energy crisis.
He said India is eying the farm sector in Pakistan and needs raw material from Pakistan but we should in fact import raw material from India and export it after value addition.
Thaver said we should export value added wheat flour rather than wheat and in fact export value added rice, maize rather than ship loads in break bulk.
He advised the PML-N to promptly pay for the electricity imported from Iran by barter of wheat and also implement the agreement to ship rice against electricity.
He expressed concern about devaluation of the rupee and said it will increase the import bill and increase cost of production, the incoming government must refrain from deficit financing and devaluation of the rupee at all cost and not take shortcuts.
The present pressing issues of energy, law and order, high cost of production, withhold of development projects, inflation and poor infrastructure will demand the immediate attention of the government followed by education, health and social welfare, he said.