LAHORE -   Federal Minister for Science, Technology and Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain has said that only five percent of the SMEs were certified by the government, while rest of the SMEs was working without any certification of quality and standard.

Talking to the media at a launching ceremony of Certification Incentive Programme for SMEs Under Productivity, Quality and Innovation initiatives organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology at a local hotel on Saturday, the minister said the government wanted quality certification of 100 percent of the SMEs, adding that merit and transparency would be ensured in the process of certification.

He said that initially an amount of Rs750 million had been allocated for the project of certification of the SMEs, however, more amount would be approved for the project later. He said the government is working to ensure quality and standard of all products manufactured at medium and small level enterprises.

To a question, he said it was priority of the government to resolve issues with the neighbouring countries, including India, through dialogues. Regarding situation on the Line of Control, the minister said Pakistani forces were ready to respond strictly if enemy chose the confrontation. He said the country had achieved several successes during the last three and half years and victory in several by-polls and local bodies election proved popularity of the Pakistan Muslim League-N government. On the issue of Panama leaks, he said it was a baseless issue and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) wanted to pull the case in the court till the next elections to get benefits from it but the PTI would not be able to prove any allegations in the court.

He said that the country’s annual defence exports reached to dollars 100 million over last three years from $25 million. He said the government was also targeting the local industry to grow so that Pakistan could become self-dependent in defence production.

He said the government is determined to encourage and facilitate rapid industrialisation in the country. He said increased automation and sophistication in developed technology has brought a global industrialisation. “So we should advance ourselves in each and every way of science and technology,” he added. The minister said many projects were in operation to cope with the energy crisis, because industrial material could not be produced without energy.