ISLAMABAD : The Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Sunday asked the government to promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to reduce unemployment. “Focus on SMEs can also help offset impact of reduced exports and dwindling investment,” said ICST Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt. In a statement issued here, he said that 96 percent businesses fell in the category of SMEs; therefore the government should consider setting up a separate ministry for this sector. “SMEs are the backbone of the country’s economy, providing jobs to majority of the labour. –NNI

It has also changed fate of many countries, including China, Japan, Malaysia, Korea and Thailand,” he added.

Butt said that SMEs faced problems like energy crisis, lack of regulatory support, incoherent laws, dearth of market information and non-availability of skilled labour.