Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday described Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as the backbone of every economy and said that the government was pursuing the agenda of promoting this sector by providing loans and bringing ease of doing business.
Addressing a ceremony to distribute cheques among the beneficiaries of business loans under the ‘Kamyab Jawan Programme’, the prime minister emphasised that the SMEs sector created the most employment opportunities in the country.
“Around 1 million applications had been received within 15 to 20 days, which manifested the people’s interest in the scheme,” he said. “It is pleasing to note that around 190,000 women had also applied for loans."
The prime minister said that the utmost effort had been made to make the scrutiny process fully transparent and merit-based. “It is among the government’s responsibilities to create an atmosphere for jobs creation by removing all impediments in the course of establishing businesses,” he said.
Highlighting the benefits of the merit-based system, he said in the UK, the Pakistani expatriates, who had joined textile industry of Manchester as labourer, purchased industries there within a decade but the people in Pakistan could not excel.
“Old mindset and practices here do not allow the businesses to flourish,” he said, adding however that the incumbent government was in the process to do away with all such policies. “Only the societies with passion and merit can progress in any fields.”
The prime minister told the gathering that the government was making all-out efforts to bring ease of doing business to exploit the true potential of the country, particularly by protecting the interests of the SMEs.
“This [SMEs] sector faced neglect in the past,” he said, adding that the SMEs always needed financial support from the government, which was being extended to them now. “The government’s efforts for ease of doing business are coming to fruition as the World Bank had also upgraded Pakistan’s ranking by 28 points on that account.”
The prime minister expressed his pleasure that some applicants had got loans to execute the tourism-related projects. “The number of tourists is increasing and a new era is about to begin in the tourism sector,” he said, urging the youth to exploit the potential of this sector.
Later, the prime minister distributed cheques among the successful candidates who had applied for business loans. He asked his Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar to invite him again for the second phase of cheques distribution as he always felt pleasure to see the youth setting up their businesses to achieve financial independence.
Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza, Special Assistants to Prime Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Usman Dar, and National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri also attended the ceremony.
The prime minister also chaired a meeting on the reforms in information ministry. Speaking on the occasion, Imran said that government believed in freedom of press, and being fourth pillar of the state, media had a vital role in making public opinion on the government’s initiatives.
Emphasising the use of modern technology in the ministry, he called for the training of officers concerned to effectively use social media and other modern skills to counter the national and international propaganda with facts and logic.
He said that ministry of information should take effective steps to highlight the government’s social welfare projects and economic development agenda. He assured the Special Assistant on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan of all-out cooperation in protecting rights of the media workers.
Earlier, the prime minister was briefed about the performance of the ministry, its manpower, role in making harmony with other ministries to highlight performance of various federal ministries. Various proposals about usage of modern technology regarding digital media were also discussed.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ