LAHORE - The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has initiated a nation-wide consultation process to solicit inputs for Federal Budget 2018-19 by approaching around 250 SME stakeholders including SMEs, chambers of commerce & industry, trade associations and sector development companies.

According to Smeda officials the stakeholders have been asked to send their recommendations by end of this month regarding taxation tariff, regulatory procedures and any other issue that may limit SME progress.

The received budget recommendations will be submitted to Ministry of Industries & Production (MoI&P), Ministry of Finance (MoF) and FBR for inclusion in the Federal Budget 2018-19.

Smeda CEO Sher Ayub, describing significance of the policy environment, said that federal budget and trade policy have become the most important policies reshaping the business environment landscape in instantaneous terms in Pakistan.

Therefore, it is now an established fact that jointly these two policies most profoundly affect SMEs and their growth pattern, he said adding that there has been an increased acknowledgement of the role of SMEs in the economy yet there remains lack of focus on SMEs in allocating resources and awarding incentives, which needs to be addressed prudently in light of the stakeholders' aspirations.

Smeda CEO said that his organization being the apex SME development body serves as a bridge between the SME sector and the Government. In its efforts to support SME development in the country, various policy advocacy activities are undertaken for development of conducive business environment based on sound policy measures to accelerate SME growth.

He was confident that current consultation with stakeholders will provide solid information to Smeda for advocating SME Development cause.

He informed that Smeda , before sending the budget recommendation to the government would conduct pre-budget consultative workshops in four provinces of Pakistan, in which the recommendation received from 250 trade bodies would be finalized.