LAHORE -  The three-year Certification Initiative Programme (CIP) worth Rs750 million, launched by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, will help ensure better quality of products and services, giving a boost to the exports of the country, presently facing a constant decline.

This was stated by Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) (NZ) Vice Chairman Jawwad Chaudhary while addressing the participants of an awareness seminar titled “Certification Incentive Programme for SMEs under PQI Initiative 2025” jointly organised by PRGMEA and the Ministry of Science and Technology. He said that the CIP will also strengthen small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and protect the rights of consumers, as only less than 5 percent SMEs are certified against any standard. He said that most of the SMEs are lacking sector specific certifications as required by the international markets.

The PRGMEA vice chairman said that SMEs are not aware of the new versions of many standards, currently operational, or under review by the relevant international standard bodies.

Project Manager of Ministry of Science and Technology Shaheen Raja, addressing the meeting, said that programme would touch 2,025 small and medium enterprises and different fee would be charged from the SMEs bearing their work force on certification according to the certificates.

He 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 it was imperative that a sound certification system for the recognition of credible products and services should be put in place to enhance credibility to compete the world market.

He said that the government is working to ensure quality and standard of all products manufactured at medium and small level enterprises and to provide incentives to SMEs for implementing any certification system.