PM seeks promotion of construction, SMEs sectors

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that as the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) played pivotal role in country’s economic promotion and stability, the present government was giving special focus on the promotion of construction and SMEs sectors.
He said that in the past SMEs sector from its financial problems to bringing about improvement in the products and production was altogether neglected.
The prime minister expressed these views while presiding over the National Coordination Committee (NCC) for SMEs here. Minister for Industries Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz, Advisor on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Governor State Bank, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Secretaries of the Ministries concerned and other senior officers were in attendance.
During the meeting the proposed SMEs Policy 2020 was presented to the prime minister, who was also briefed in detail about the proposed policy and its salient features, promotion of SMEs sector through policy measures and the identification of various measures to further strengthen SMEs role in economy.
The prime minister said that international best practices should be utilized for providing facilities and incentives to SMEs sector. He reiterated the government’s resolve to not only remove all hurdles in the way of SMEs’ promotion but also provide all possible incentives to the sector. The prime minister, in that respect, also directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to prepare a feasible road-map within the next two weeks.
Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday assured investors in the construction sector of every possible facilitation, particularly those interested to invest in the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project and Karachi’s Bundle Island project. Chairing a meeting of National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction and Development, the prime minister said the two mega projects would not only encourage investment of billions, but also promote other affiliated sectors and thus would prove milestones in strengthening of the economy.
The prime minister expressed satisfaction over keen interest by the investors, builders and constructors in the Ravi River Front Urban Development Project and Bundle Island project.
Imran Khan said the local investors along with overseas Pakistani investors would also be encouraged to invest and benefit from the projects.
On the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project, he said 90 percent of the material to be used would be indigenous, which would boost the local industry.
The meeting was attended by Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, special assistants Malik Amin Aslam, Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa and Dr Shehbaz Gul, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority Chairman Gen (R) Anwar Ali Haider, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor, Federal Board of Revenue Chairman and other officials.
The representatives from the construction industry and noted businessmen, including Aqeel Karim Dhedi, Arif Habib, Abbas Mukhtar, Fawad Mukhtar, Faisal Afridi, Muhammad Ahsan, Shahid Abdullah, Tariq Rafi and others attended the meeting
The businessmen appreciated the active role of SBP Governor in facilitation extended by the banks to the construction industry.
The meeting also discussed the projects, including Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project and Bundle Island with high prospects of investment.
The Punaj Chief Secretary presented the timeline of reviewing master plans of big cities, including Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Dera Ghazi Khan, Sialkot and Sahiwal.
He also apprised the prime minister about the projects related to urban regeneration in Lahore and rising trend in purchase of the construction material.