Urdu point Lahore
Published Date: May 17, 2019
Parliamentary Secretary, National History and Literary Heritage Division, Ghazala Saifi Thursday said startups, creative social enterprises, businesses and the general public usually see the regulatory bodies including Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) as threat and fear to approach for any guidance.
While speaking at a roundtable meeting titled "Regulatory Reform Priorities for Social Enterprises" organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with British Council and UNESCAP here, she urged the regulatory bodies to work on achieving confidence of startups, social enterprises and the businesses through removing the fear factor by providing facilitation and guidance.
Moreover, awareness should be raised on the rules, regulations and laws of the regulatory authorities and provided easy access to general public, she added, a press release said.
Ghazala Saifi said though Creative Social Enterprises (CSE) sector has the potential to create employment and can help achieve inclusive growth, but the sector is facing the issue of recognition in the legal regime due to lack of an agreeable and legit definition.
She said in consultation with all stakeholders, a clear, short and agreeable definition should be defined at the earliest, which then should be debated for legit definition.
Joint Executive Director, SDPI, Dr Vaqar Ahmed said social enterprises are facing the issues of financing, taxation, lack of access to public procurement opportunities, legal and regulatory.
He said a legal or agreed upon definition for social enterprises can help the sector to get access bank credit and public grants. A certification system may be devised by the government which will recognize credible enterprises doing social work, he added.
Director Society, British Council Sadia Rehman said our focus was on skill development and supporting the young people who are vulnerable and lack the opportunities to grow and thrive.
Director General, FBR, Dr.Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed while acknowledging the issues and challenges faced by the social enterprises and other businesses said that social enterprise sector need to be differentiated from the Non-Profit Organization (NPOs), as the sector generates the taxable income.
He said in order to get tax incentive, government subsidies and other related benefits there is a need of legal framework available for social enterprises to help recognize the sector.