LAHORE - Punjab Minister for Industries & Trade, Mian Aslam Iqbal has said that small industries play an important role for the development of any country and the provincial government is taking solid steps for the promotion of SME sector.

He stated this while talking to a delegation of industrialists, traders and business organizations which called on him in Civil Secretariat here on Tuesday. During the meeting, various proposals regarding problems faced by the industry, promotion of SME sector and training programs came under discussion.

Speaking on the occasion, Mian Aslam Iqbal said that soft loan program for the unemployed youth will be helpful for empowering the youth. He said that TEVTA will be made proactive organization and its training programs and curriculum will be made according to the needs of market.

He said the problems faced by the industry will be solved with the consultation of all the stakeholders. The present industry will be made helpful for increasing the exports and the proposals given by the industrialists will be considered, he added.

The Provincial Minister Industries and Trade said that alleviation of poverty and unemployment has much importance in 100-day plan of government and SME sector will be promoted with the consultations of all the stakeholders.

The meeting was also attended by Secretary Industries, MD Punjab Small Industries Corporation and others.

Meanwhile, Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar has said that economy could not be strengthened without providing basic amenities and secure environment to the business community.

Talking to a 28-member APTMA delegation led by Gohar Ijaz at the Governor's House here on Tuesday, he said the provision of basic amenities of life to the masses, poverty alleviation, and putting Pakistan on the road to progress and prosperity were the top priorities of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) government.

The Punjab Governor said that business community could play its vital role in keeping the wheel of progress moving, adding that country's progress was dependent on the collective efforts by people from all walks of life.

Appreciating the role of business community in progress, he said the businessmen create job opportunities besides strengthening economy through exports and paying taxes.

Sarwar said PTI had taken a revolutionary decision to provide gas to factories in Punjab on cheap rates, adding that the initiative would enhance exports and promote textile industry in the province.

The Punjab Governor said the overseas Pakistani were being invited to invest in the fishing sector, adding fish farming would generate jobs in the villages.

Sarwar said his biggest wish was to provide clean drinking water in the cities of Punjab, claiming 1.1 million people in the country die annually of drinking polluted water. He urged the APTMA members to install water filtration plants at their factories to provide clean water to the labourers.

APTMA Chairman Ijaz Gohar felicitated Punjab Governor on his elevation as Punjab Governor for the second term.