UNISAME Pushes for Stronger SMEDA to Empower SMEs

UNISAME Pushes for Stronger SMEDA to Empower SMEs

PkRevenue.com – The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has called on the government to empower the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) to effectively address the issues facing the SME sector.

President of UNISAME, Zulfikar Thaver, expressed his concerns over SMEDA’s current leadership void, stating that the absence of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a significant setback for the organization.

Thaver emphasized the necessity of appointing a CEO who is committed to advocating for the SME sector. “SMEDA needs a CEO who can passionately voice the concerns of the sector and advocate their cause,” he said. Thaver pointed out that critical issues related to imports, exports, technological gaps, finance, facilitation, and modernization remain unaddressed due to SMEDA’s passive stance on these subjects.

Members of the UNISAME Council voiced their frustrations over the lack of attention to export-related matters, which they attribute to SMEDA’s reluctance to address issues that fall under the purview of other authorities such as the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), and ministries of agriculture, food, science, technology, and commerce. They stressed that SMEDA, as per its articles and memorandum of association, is duty-bound to advocate for the SME sector regardless of the specific area, whether it be finance, taxation, productivity, or technological advancement.

“It is incumbent on SMEDA to take up matters and advocate for the sector,” Thaver stated. He argued that if SMEDA cannot fulfill its role, it should be dissolved and replaced with an SME promotion bureau. This new bureau should be led by a CEO from the private sector and be equipped to promote SME exports and provide comprehensive support, guidance, and advocacy for the sector.

Thaver also highlighted his efforts during his tenure as a board member to maintain the continuity of the legal advisory department, which he deemed essential for SMEs. He advocated for SMEDA to obtain Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds and guide corporations on how to utilize these funds to benefit the underprivileged SME sector optimally.

UNISAME’s call for action underscores the urgency of revitalizing SMEDA to ensure that it can effectively support and champion the needs of the SME sector, which is crucial for Pakistan’s economic growth and development.