PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs6 billion subsidy scheme for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of the province under the Industrial Policy 2020.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan chaired the cabinet meeting that was attended by ministers, chief secretary and administrative secretaries.

Briefing reporters following the meeting, Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif said that the subsidy scheme would have two components including Raast modernisation financing scheme and Raast working capital financing scheme for SMEs.

He said that the scheme was aimed at addressing the issue of SMEs’ access to the credit. He said that provision of financing facility to the SME sector on attractive terms in present scenario would support liquidity needed to sustain the businesses and associated employment. Besides, it will also encourage growth of existing and new businesses.

Plan to be executed through Bank of Khyber

Under the scheme, Rs1.2 billion will be disbursed annually to be funded by the State Bank of Pakistan till 2026. The SMEs will be entitled to minimum of Rs1 million financing and Rs2 million as maximum.

Mr Saif said that Bank of Khyber in coordination with industries department would execute the scheme.

He said that the cabinet also approved the province’s summary automation system (SAS), a web/mobile enabled integrated application to digitally generate, process and approve various summaries and notes moved for chief minister and chief secretary, respectively.

Mr Saif said that the system would enable government departments to move summaries and notes through it. He said that the system was the first step towards digital governance and would enable the government to ensure transparency and efficiency while communicating and processing documents necessary for inter ad intra departmental communications.

He said that chief minister ordered digitisation of entire proceedings of the cabinet.

He said that the cabinet also approved KP Antiquities Amendment Act, which would enable the relevant department to take action against illegal digging of the antiquities as well as the process of court cases.

In addition to this, he said, a ‘walled cities authority’ would be set up to protect and conserve the walled cities of the province.

Mr Saif said that the cabinet also approved relaxation of KP Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules for tourism areas integrated development projects in Kalam and Naran to regularise the enhanced contract cost of the project.

Besides, the cabinet also approved re-appointment of Habib Raza as director general of Galiyat Development Authority in the light of a Peshawar High Court’s decision.

He said that the cabinet also approved provision of over three kanals of land for setting up regional office of Anti-Corruption Establishment KP.

Besides, the cabinet also approved nomination of nine members for the reconstitution of KP Pharmacy Council.

The cabinet also approved a special Shuhuda Package for Mubashir Ahmed, a student belonging to Bannu district, who was shot dead by police on Dalazak Road in Peshawar. Later, a judicial commission declared police responsible for killing the student and said that use of force against the student was carless disregard of the law.

The cabinet also approved the remaining amount of compensation to bombing victims in Khyber tribal district in the light of Peshawar High Court’s verdict.

The cabinet also approved KP Print, Electronic and Social and Digital Media Advertising Policy, 2021. The policy, Mr Saif said, would ensure affective media projection of the government initiatives at grassroots level through all mediums of communication including social media.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2022

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