Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI - The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) has invited the attention of the caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khosa to the urgent need to appoint an economist as finance minister promptly in view of the severe economic issues.

President Unisame Zulfikar Thaver said the caretaker government will need to start preparations for the forthcoming budget and will need to take bold steps to overcome the situation despite being just caretakers.

He suggested the names of well known personalities including Dr Ishrat Hussain, Zakir Mahmood former president Habib Bank or Salim Raza ex-governor State Bank of Pakistan who are considered as financial experts and are capable of taking important decisions to save the country from economic crisis by taking remedial measures.

He stated that in the budget proposals submitted to the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) the union has emphasised the need to take immediate bold steps and abolish import duties on alternate energy devices to promote the installation of alternate energy systems by the industrialist as summer is at the anvil and energy shortage is expected.

He said that due to high import duties on solar panels and parts, wind mills and bio-gas generation systems proving costly due to depreciation of rupee in terms of foreign currency and secondly even the maintenance is a costly affair due to import duties on parts which need to be replaced from time to time.

He urged the exemption of alternate energy devices from import duties to promote the import of solar energy, wind energy and other power generation equipments based on fuel, bio-gas and gas to cope with the energy crisis.

He said it would be a wise decision to place alternate energy devices on zero duty to encourage industrialist adopt alternate energy systems in their feasibility.