PESHAWAR - The Grants Review and Distribution Committee (GRDC) of the Economic Revitalization of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (ERKF) Project has approved Rs100 million grants for rehabilitation and up-gradation of crisis-hit Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in 23 districts of the province.

ERKF Project funded by Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for the rehabilitation and up-gradation of SMEs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA had received nearly 4000 applications for grants under the project during the period from July to till first week of October 2017.

The approved amount will be distributed amongst 100 applicants.

The SMEs from all terrorism and calamity-hit districts of the province, particularly from Malakand Division have submitted applications with the Project Unit (PU) of the project established under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA).

According to official sources a large number of applications has been received from Lower Dir followed by Swat and Chitral respectively. Women entrepreneurs are also taking keen interest in the project and over 200 women have also applied for availing the grant. Grants to the SMEs will be given under the heads of rehabilitation, up-gradation and cluster. Maximum amount under rehabilitation is up to Rs2.5 million, up-gradation up to Rs 2 million and Rs 10 million under common facilitation center (CFC) for cluster development.

For maintenance and guaranteeing of transparency in the grants distribution a special MIS system has been adopted under which each case is being processed on his turn without any discrimination.

Two different committees namely Documentation Review Committee (DRC) and Grants Review and Decision Committee (GRMC) have been established for processing cases.

The first committee reviews the documents and present cases in the second committee, which has representation from both public and private sectors after thorough scrutiny will take decision with majority vote.

Under the first round of the project, grants to the tone of Rs 1.5 billion have been distributed in 1700 SMESs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.

For the second round an amount of Rs 1.2 billion has been sanctioned for SMEs from both KP and FATA. However, presently, the second round is initiated only for the SMEs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while project for FATA is yet to start due to some reasons.