By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: With the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic necessitating businesses become digital and refocus towards e-commerce to keep trading as stores remained shut, small and medium enterprises in the country have sought an SME and an e-commerce policy from the government.
This was disclosed by Shehryar Tahir, the head of external relations at the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) during an online seminar on ‘improving regulatory environment for businesses in the services sector – budget proposals from services sector businesses’. The webinar had been organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Earlier, SDPI’s Joint Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed said that the services sector has contracted by 0.59% during the ongoing fiscal year 2019-20. Adeel Azhar, from TCS Group, said that Covid-19 offers some opportunities for the services sector as online businesses will face increased demand. Economic Analyst Saad Rajput suggested that a financially inclusive policy can help bring innovation to online products, especially in the insurance sector and for health service delivery.
Dr Sajid Amin, the head of the Policy Solutions Lab at SDPI, urged policymakers to focus on promoting innovation across micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the upcoming federal budget. Other speakers including Ayesha Qaisarani and Ahad Nazir, highlighted the diverse aspects of SME’s and women which need help in streamlining their online businesses.