Daily Lead Pakistan
Published Date: Oct 6, 2016
Marvi Memon, Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme, BISP, advocates enhanced cooperation between BISP and the emerging young entrepreneurs to reduce poverty.
At the launch event of research study on “Social Enterprise Landscape in Pakistan,” jointly organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and British Council, Wednesday, she said, BISP intend to be an important partner of social enterprises in Pakistan. BISP has the best data base in term of social safety net, which should be utilized through partnership.
BISP has just introduced biometric payment mechanism, on all payments and processes, for clarity and transparency, she said. Now, we need to leap further. “We need to do a lot more for entrepreneurship by women, to thrive and establish. We don’t believe in government, we believe in letting business to do business.”
Earlier, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Finance said, the government of Pakistan is working on introducing regulations and policy framework for Social Enterprises. Being social in nature; the regressive taxation should be curtailed for a better growth of the sector. There are thousands of charity institutions and foundations, which come under the umbrella of Social Enterprises, working without regulatory framework. He said social enterprises need to serve the underprivileged section of the society.
Jim Booth, Director Programmes, British Council said, there is need to do much more to unleash the potential of Social Enterprise in Pakistan. These research aims to create discussion on the subject of social enterprises. The British Council in Pakistan, promises to collaborate with various institutions to build a stronger and inclusive societies.
Deputy Executive Director, SDPI, Dr. Vaqar Ahmed said, the social enterprises lack a legal definition, which is preventing them from accessing formal financial institutions for funding. These enterprises also find it difficult to participate in public procurement competitions, which favor only the large and more establish vendors.
The tax regime is also leading to a higher cost of doing business. In service sector, social enterprises are facing incidence of double taxation. Our universities need to offer courses in social entrepreneurship, so the students could be channelized towards making a social impact.
Dr Vaqar said that the Planning Commission of Pakistan needs to quickly operationalize center for social entrepreneurship. Similar centers should be institutionalized at provincial planning and development departments, he said. Such institutions with in the government can initiate and invite innovative proposals for seed funding and scale up grants, he added. The United Nations believe that several of the Sustainable Development Goals can be reached by encouraging social enterprises.
Ahmed Qadir, Director General (International Affairs), Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) said, Social Enterprise is becoming an importance career option for the coming generation. He said, it is important for both policy makers and private sector participant to work together and harmonize our efforts for social enterprise to grow.