The Importance of Prioritizing SMEs After The 2022 Floods

Pakistan’s 2022 floods have had a devastating impact on Pakistani life. Approximately 118 of 160 districts were destroyed by heavy rains and floodwaters. These numbers are comparable to those of the 2010 floods, which can easily prove that the current flooding is worse than any other.

Many areas, including Balochistan and lower Sindh, are still under floodwater. With heavy rains predicted to continue through September it is unlikely that these areas will be free from floodwater soon. Despite the fact that there is no data or figures to show exactly how many businesses have been closed down in these areas, it can be easily predicted that many of these SMEs won’t recover after the floods recede.

It is a market segment that contributes 25% to Pakistan’s exports and should be revitalized immediately. The seriousness of this situation means that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, (SMEDA), should immediately work with disaster management authorities and local and central banks to repair the damage done.

Prioritization and urgent loan programs that allow all small and medium-sized business owners to get loans for their businesses and start again are two things that will ensure Pakistan’s SME sector is revived. This will help in times of economic crisis and improve the economy locally.

A survey found that Pakistan has more than 5 million SMEs working in various sectors, including manufacturing, trade, IT, and services. These SMEs together contribute 40% to Pakistan’s GDP.

These SMEs are so numerous that they can be revived in 2023-24 if authorities work quickly with the government to get these businesses back on their feet.

Many SMEs have low hopes. But how will they get back to the level they were before the floods? This is a question that only time can answer.

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