ISLAMABAD              -                 After giving an incentive package to the major exporters, the government on Tuesday revealed that it is working on a policy to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), retail outlets and the labour force.

“I know there is a lot of concern that the big exporters are getting all the focus, this is far from the truth. The bulk of the support will go to the SME, retail outlets and the labour force. I want everyone to be a little patient that in the coming days a policy will be announced on this subject. In designing the policy, I’m looking at what other countries, like Canada and Bangladesh have done,” said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood on Twitter.

He further said that he wanted to ensure that in order to protect the labour force, all payments being made to the exporters and business people, some mechanism of control is being worked out as to how to safeguard the interest of the workers. “Rest assured it’s very much on the cards and that too will be unfolded shortly,” he added.

Earlier, the business community had demanded the government to extend the Prime Minister Incentive package to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as these were adversely affected in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the business community the small industries and businesses had closed down and were facing immense financial losses amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the province.

Therefore, they demanded the government to include small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the recently announced economic relief package in order to prevent them from suffering further fiscal loss.

Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Muhammad Ahmed Waheed had appealed to Raza Baqir, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan to consider announcing a relief package for industrial units and corporate sector to save them from default.

He said that developed countries have announced bailout packages for their SMEs and corporate sectors by freezing their instalments of loans and markup. He said that SBP should also freeze instalments of loans and markup for SMEs and corporate sector at least for 6 months to keep them afloat in these difficult circumstances. 

He hoped that SBP would give sympathetic consideration to this proposal in order to save the economy from falling into further troubles.