KARACHI, April 13: The small and medium enterprises should be given soft loans on preferential basis with minimum conditions and be exempted from lengthy audit procedures of different government departments.
The SMEs play major role in every economy and are normally 96 per cent of the entire industrial setup of a country. They contribute up to 38 per cent in GDP and engage largest workforce.
This was stated by Zafar Iqbal, President, Small and Medium Enterprises Alliance (Samea), at a pre-budget seminar held late on Thursday evening.
He further said that SMEs work as engine of economy and are given incentives for their growth.
He, however, said in Pakistan no special packages or incentives are given to SMEs and it would be in the best interest of the country if the forthcoming budget comes up with some SME related incentives.
Zafar Iqbal said that the government should introduce one window facility for SMEs who are mostly not in a position to understand or meet lengthy government procedures.
For creating jobs, he said, the government should develop small industrial parks for SMEs in major cities with basic infrastructure facilities, including utilities.
He suggested that the government under current economic hardship should go for austerity measures and stop taking loans from IMF and banks to sustain their luxury living-style.
The government should stop giving free petrol to its employees because 80 per cent of POL products are used by government departments.
Beside expanding tax net, the government should also tax agriculture income and sales tax should be reduced to 5 to 6 per cent.
The tendency to collect withholding tax through registered taxpayers should be discouraged.
The basic exemption on income tax should be increased to 0.6 million and tax collectors’ discretionary powers be curtailed. Direct contact between taxpayers and tax collectors be discouraged by making higher use of technology, he added.