KARACHI - The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) has felicitated SBP for instituting a consultative group called the Small Medium Enterprises Consultative Group (SMECG).

According to the statement under the chairmanship of its executive director development finance group (EDDFG) and members comprising of director SME Finance Department, director development finance, representative from Small Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), representative from Business Support Fund (BSF), Unisame, 5 representatives from Pakistan Banking Association (PBA), representatives from international donors and senior joint director infrastructure, housing and SME finance department SBP as its secretary.

President Unisame Zulfikar Thaver has been nominated to represent the union of SMEs. Out of 5 banks 2 from big banks, 2 from mid-tier banks and 1 from Islamic bank will serve as members. The inclusion of BSF, Smeda, international donors and senior officials of SBP will undoubtedly make it a strong group and it is expected that the suggestions of the SMECG will prove beneficial for all stakeholders.

The SBP by virtue of being the key stakeholder decided to instate a permanent mechanism by establishing the SMECG to review the current exposure, suggest innovative approaches, provide suggestions, feedback, improving the financial literacy, capacity building, explore avenues of coordination, finalise recommendations and draft SME sector strategy with respect to access to finance and suggest recommendations for its implementation.

The SBP feeling the need for a robust strategy for the development of the sector and realising the need for a common platform for stakeholders to share information and suggest solutions has established the SMECG with the ultimate objective to develop a long term SME sector strategy.