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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar has indicated that the government may revamp Board of Investment (BoI) with an objective of making it a ‘one window-one stop operation’ for investors.

In a meeting with USAID Director Gregory C. Gottlieb here on Friday, the finance minister said that the government also plans to revitalise the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda) and reconnect it with the private sector so that they can benefit from the institution for setting up small and medium term businesses.

The USAID director offered that the US agency for development is ready to work with the government and provide technical and technological support to BoI and Smeda for enhancing capacity of these organisations.

Mr Dar informed the USAID official that institutions, like BoI and Smeda, were established during the previous government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to encourage business and facilitate them in the provision of conducive environment. These institutions continue to be close to the heart of the prime minister, he said.

Finance Minister Dar stated that small and medium enterprises have a special place in the strategy being formulated by the present government to revive the economy.

A scheme has been introduced to enable the youth to start their own businesses, and loans would be made available to them in a transparent manner through banking system.

Under the scheme, loans ranging from Rs100,000 to Rs2 million would be available at a mark-up cost of eight per cent.

The remaining cost of mark-up would be borne by the government.

In addition, a sum of Rs2 billion has been earmarked for macro-finance to encourage small businesses, he said.

Comments (3) Closed

Abdul Malik Jul 21, 2013 07:49am

I have been hearing about this so called "one window operation" since God knows how long. All new governments make tall claims and they all know that their own politicians and the bureaucrats alike have no scrupuls and have their hands in their respective pockets. They will never allow foreign investors to come in freely without greasing their palms.

Shoaib Manzoor Jul 22, 2013 09:33am

Its Ramzan Mr. Dar, please stop trying to take credit for other people's work. BOI was established and became a one window facility for investors during Benazir Bhutto's government. Nawaz Sharif came and made BOI part of the Ministry of Industries/Privatization during his tenure and ruined the reputation that the BOI had built. Benazir and her government deserve credit for establishing the BOI, not Sharif.

Khalid Jul 22, 2013 02:51pm

Well, Mr. Darr is talking about how wonderful it was during the previous PMLN government. The fact is that Pakistan stock market during the so called dictator's regime was declared as the most profitable stock market in the world. It is not what you say but what you do that changes things. As Einstein said, repeating the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is insanity. Why don't they look at what Musharraf did to restore confidence in Pakistan market and apply the same principals. It has been done before and can be done again. Mr. Darr conveniently forgot that Nawaz Sharif also froze all foreign currency accounts which resulted in 100s of 1000s of Pakistanis losing out. Wonder when he went into "exile", did he take Pakistani rupees in suitcases to start businesses in Saudi and the UK?. I really would love to see the UK and Saudi governements starting an investigation into that! so that it can be a lesson for Mr. Altaf Hussain and the Sharifs.