DHAKA: The Cabinet approved in principle the draft of SME Policy 2019 to boost the industry and increase its contribution to the GDP up to 32 percent by 2024 from the existing 25 percent.
The approval came from a weekly regular meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Monday (September 9), with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
While briefing reporters at secretariat after the meeting, cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said in light with national industry policy, the SME policy has been formulated aiming to ensure access to finance, technology and market for some 78 lakh small and medium entrepreneurs in the country.
“The policy will benefit 78 lakh SMEs as the government wants to give them a strong footing as they are currently contributing 25 percent to the GDP while micro and cottage industries will also be treated as SMEs,” Shafiul said.
Under the policy, a ‘SME Credit Guarantee Fund’ will be introduced to simplify the loan system for the entrepreneurs and no mortgage will be required for getting the loan, the cabinet secretary informed.
The policy also proposed a “Startup Fund” for attracting unemployed people to start their own business and giving forward and backward linkage support to give the industry a strong footing, he said.
It also has attached priority to setting up friendly SMEs, Shafiul added.
The Cabinet Secretary further said that the policy will ensure six matters for SME investors, which are access to finance, technology, innovation, market, education and training, business support services, and information.
There will be two committees -- a 37-member committee headed by the Industries Minister and a 29-member committee led by the Industries Secretary—to implement the policy, the Cabinet Secretary said adding that the SME Policy will be implemented from 2019 to June 2024.
He said that according to the work plan, there are 136 activities and 62 strategies. In the action plan, what are to achieve during this period. If these were implemented, the contribution of SMEs to GDP would increase to 32 percent in 2025.
BDST: 1958 HRS, SEP 9, 2019