WAZIRABAD

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that small and medium enterprises (SMES) have to increase their export by 50 percent so as to strengthen the national economy, disclosed a delegation of industrialists who met with him in Islamabad.

“The government will play its role to develop the value-added cutlery and kitchenware sector. The TDAP will introduce cutlery and kitchenware products at international level,” the PM was quoted by the delegation as saying.

He was talking to the delegation of Pakistan Cutlery Association which comprised Khalid Mughal and Hameed Akhtar Chadda in presence of Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir the other day in Islamabad.

During the meeting, Khalid Mughal suggested that educational and medical facilities were necessary for the welfare of the workers attached with cutlery and kitchenware industry and infrastructure of the sector be developed.

A social security hospital for the medical facility and a labour colony to solve their residential problems be established, he demanded. Hameed Akhtar proposed the establishment of a small industrial estate to gather all the scattered cutlery units on one place. The State Bank of Pakistan should give interest-free loans of Rs10 to Rs20 million to enable the cutlery manufacturers to establish industrial infrastructure equipped with latest facilities, he further demanded.

Nawaz Sharif, in the light of the proposals, directed the finance minister and the commerce minister to fasten steps to arrange another meeting with the representatives of Pakistan Cutlery Association after three months to review advancement in the government steps taken to resolve their problems.

“The government will play its role seriously for the betterment of cutlery and kitchenware industry and all refund cases will be completed on priority basis so that the exporters may get more working capital,” he said. He directed the ministry of commerce to give maximum relief to the sector in their trade policy for 2015-2018.