Govt urged to setg up National MSME Development Council

LAHORE-The Progressive Group in the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stressed the need for setting up a National MSME Development Council that can devise favourable regulations, suggest financial incentives and chalk out policies conducive to boosting such entrepreneurs and their production capacities.
Progressive Group’s central leader and LCCI executive committee member, Muhammad Ejaz Tanveer in a statement said that according to estimates, there were more than five million SMEs in Pakistan and these contribute 40 per cent to the national GDP with a 25 per cent share in overall exports. While in Pakistan, SMEs constitute nearly 90 per cent of entirely private businesses and employ almost 78 per cent of the non-agricultural labour force. However, there is a need to set up a national level Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (MSME) to further boost such entrepreneurs and their production capacity.
“A National MSME Development Council can provide a platform for policymakers, industry experts, and MSME representatives to collaborate and develop policies that support the growth and development of MSMEs. It can advocate for favourable regulations, financial incentives, and business-friendly environments to enhance the MSME ecosystem,” he added.
Ejaz Tanveer further said that such a council could act as a monitoring body to assess the impact of various policies and initiatives on the MSME sector. Regular evaluation would help identify areas that need improvement and ensure that resources are utilized effectively. During times of economic downturn or crises, MSMEs were often proved vulnerable. The proposed council could devise strategies to support MSMEs during challenging times and help build their resilience against future shocks. Similarly, the proposed council could also work with financial institutions to design specialized financing schemes tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. This could include promoting alternative financing options, encouraging venture capital investments, and easing credit access. “Building the capacity of MSME owners and workers is essential for improving productivity and competitiveness. The council can design and support skill development programs, workshops, and training sessions to upgrade technical and managerial capabilities within the sector, “Progressive Group’s leader said. He went on to say that for MSMEs to thrive, they need access to larger markets and opportunities for export. The council could help MSMEs explore domestic and international markets, assist with export-related procedures, and provide guidance on compliance with international standards and regulations. Embracing digital technologies was becoming increasingly crucial for business growth. 

The council could promote digital literacy, encourage the adoption of e-commerce platforms, and provide guidance on cyber security measures for MSMEs.
Establishing a National MSME Development Council requires a collaborative effort involving the government, industry associations, academia, financial institutions, and MSME representatives. The council’s success would depend on its ability to take a comprehensive and inclusive approach to address the diverse needs and challenges faced by MSMEs. By doing so, it can significantly contribute to the economic growth and social development of a nation, Ejaz Tanveer concluded.

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