lahore - Development of the SME sector in any country plays an integral role in its economic development and prosperity. World Bank can play a significant role in developing the SME sector of Pakistan.

These views were expressed by the LCCI Acting President Mian Tariq Misbah while talking to a 2-member World Bank team led by Andrew Proctor.  Mian Tariq Misbah said that the dream of Pakistan’s economic development could not come true until SMEs were not developed on modern lines because this sector holds the key for attaining and maintaining the pace of economic activities. He said that cooperation of World Bank to this regard was significant.  He said that approximately more than 3.2 million SMEs were functioning in Pakistan. SME sector contributes 30% in GDP, employs more than 70% of the non-agricultural workforce and generates 25% in export earnings.

The LCCI Acting President said that SME sector has huge potential in generating employment and alleviating poverty but unfortunately there was not any well defined program available for the establishment and development of these SMEs.

He said that to address the problems of this important sector, government, with the help of World Bank, must arrange financing at affordable mark up, land at concession, uninterrupted supply of raw material and sufficient energy.  Mian Tariq Misbah said that to keep this sector abreast with latest technologies, the technological gap also needs to be shortened. Likewise instant steps were required to ensure the facilities of leasing for SMEs enabling them to buy commercial property, machinery and equipment, raw material etc, he added.  He said that concrete steps should be taken to address the finance related requirement of SMEs. The monetary policies of State Bank of Pakistan must go in favour of SMEs.  Mian Tariq Misbah proposed that joint efforts should be made to help SMEs survive for the good. He said that prudential Regulations for SMEs need to be clearly defined while revising the definition of SME sector.