Imran Khan’s 100 day employment plan in Let Pakistani Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)
Asad Umar, PTI’s finance minister designate revealed a SME expansion plan which says:
- 3 year tax holiday – to be increased to half the rate for the next two years
- Easy financing
- Support in skill training
- Special tax rates for engineering, agricultural and garments value added sector
A thorough survey of our existing SMEs – that are doing a wonderful job at import substitution and job creation – has revealed the following:
- All avoid coming into the tax net
- All point towards bureaucracy as the main hurdle in expansion
- Financing for expansion is too cumbersome to acquire
- Risk is too high in case project fails
- The government institutions act as extortionists
- Finding talented manpower is impossible
- There is no legal protection in case of disputes
The following are the recommendations to boost SME sector, which is the backbone of employment:
- Enforce the rule of law and make arbitration simple and cheap.
- Privatize some tax collection functions, especially toll, levy, surcharge, border imports, Value Added
- Digitize the economy like India and investigate every transaction beyond Rs 50,000
- Let the provinces collect their own taxes – Federal government to handle GST, services, income and tariffs.
- Heavily Spend on skill training at the schools – preferably freelance work online
- As President Reagan said, ‘less government is the only good government’. So, ruthlessly slash dead wood people and procedures that borders on extortion and criminal neglect – and I mean at every institution.
- Give financial protection from total ruin to SMEs from state coffers
- Muscle countries around us to open up their market for our mediocre SME products, so our SMEs evolve
- Force the financial sector to introduce hedge funds and instruments to fund SMEs with promising innovations.
- Digitize the government sector; all procedures and rules have to be displayed online for all decision making to make IT platforms
- Our commercial councilors to facilitate difficult to import components for Value Addition inside the country.
- Make it simpler for SME owners to temporarily import super skilled manpower and pay them in US Dollars
- Encourage Patenting, research publications by financial rewards and punish Intellectual Property infringements
- Enforce labor laws to protect vulnerable workers from blood sucking bourgeois
- Hand over Mother Ship engineering complexes to wealth funds so that the hatchlings in the private sector flourish under their wings.