PESHAWAR: A World Bank-funded project valuing $20 million was launched for economic revitalisation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) on Monday.
Under the 'Economic Revitalisation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata' project, owners of small and medium enterprises hit by militancy will get cash grants, technical assistance and training for reviving their businesses and improve skills.In a news release issued here, Yousuf Naseem Khokar, chief executive officer Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda), said the project would help revive small and medium businesses in the conflict-hit areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata by attracting investments from overseas Pakistanis.
'It will be funded under the Multi-Donor Trust Fund and involves components of institutional capacity building and regulatory reforms apart from SME development segment that will be implemented by Smeda.
'The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's industries department, Fata Secretariat, and Smeda will implement the project that has been evolved by determining needs for the economic revival of the militancy-affected private businesses,' he said.The CEO Smeda said the militancy-hit businesses and individ-ual entrepreneurs experiencing liquidity crunch would receive cash grants, including rehabilitation grants of up to Rs2.5 million each, up-gradation grant of Rs1 million each and up to Rs500,000 grants to clusters.
'The grants could be utilised for pursuing technological innovation, adopting new packaging and labeling, establishing common facility centers and product development.
Similarly, affected SMEs will also be able get capacity building support of Rs300,000 as matching grants,' he said.
Mr Khokar said Smeda had begun holding meetings with representatives of different clusters with the help of various businessmen associations and trade organisations.
The release said at a recently held meeting in Swat, general manager (outreach), Smeda, Lahore, chief of Smeda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and project manager, Economic Revival Project, briefed stakeholders on opportunities entailed under the project and informed them that the affected businesses would get direct support under the rehabilitation component in the form of matching grants.
They also said eligible businesses would be able to use the grants as working capital for reconstructing their infrastructure and acquiring, repairing machinery and equipment.