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Govt to introduce specialised credits for women led small and medium enterprises

Govt to introduce specialised credits for women led small and medium enterprises

ISLAMABAD: The government would introduce specialised credits for firms with provisions for majority of women to empower women leading small and medium enterprises (SMEs), a minister said on Thursday.

”The proposed SME policy will outline incentives for women-oriented businesses thus reducing gender gap in financial inclusion and mainstreaming the role of women in the economy,” said Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar, Federal Minister for Industries & Production (MoIP) at a seminar.

The session titled “Introduction to Productivity Journey and SMEs Fund for Business Recovery and Resilience for Covid-19 Affected SMEs” was organised by National Productivity Organization (NPO) for women entrepreneurs.

The minister stressed on productivity enhancement and competitiveness of SMEs in the local and global market to achieve sustainable development in Pakistan.

The session was aimed at improving productivity awareness of women entrepreneurs and active engagement in SMEs Fund initiated by NPO through support of Asian Productivity Organization (APO).

The minister further said the MoIP would allot land to SMEs on rental lease model in SEZs. He called for special lending scheme for garment sector and IT-enabled services within purview of SME policy.

Aliya Hamza, Parliamentary Secretary Industries and Production, said MoIP through its sub-ordinate organisations like NPO and SMEDA is playing an active role to facilitate women entrepreneurs so that they could excel in their relevant fields.

“The government is focusing on entrepreneurial opportunities for sustainable employment growth, skill based education and engagement of youth and women in socio economic affairs,” she said.

MNA Saira Bano said the government would take solid initiatives to utilise the potential of women entrepreneurs through NPO, SMEDA, TUSDEC, and other relevant MoIP organisations.

Ghazala Saifi, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for National Heritage and Culture Division, informed the participants that Lok Virsa is facilitating women entrepreneurs to sell their products /services.

She also mentioned their division would support free stalls for deserving women identified and recommended through chambers.

Hashim Raza, CEO SMEDA, while said women-focused SME development was a key priority of SMEDA, MoIP, and the organisation had taken key initiatives to support women entrepreneurs including Women Entrepreneurs Incubation Centre, National Business Development Programme and Industrial Stitching Unit Grants.

Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry, CEO NPO, said it was the first step towards launching productivity movement in Pakistan as Government of Pakistan had recently approved NPO project “Improving Competitiveness through Sustainable National Productivity (SNP)”, which was aimed at enhancing productivity awareness among masses through trainings, seminars, conferences, engagement of experts and awareness tools like productivity portal, journal, walks, competitions, curriculums etc.

“The NPO is playing a vital role in enhancing the productivity through its specialised programs including Technical Services through International Experts, Study Mission to APO Member Countries, Establishment of Demonstration Factories and Participation in Multi Country Training and Research Programs.”

Source: The News

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