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Analysis of Regulatory and Institutional Response by Federal and Provincial Governments of Sindh and Balochistan During Covid-19 and Policy Options to Augment Emergency Response and Revive Rural Economy

Partner/Donor: European Union (EU), International Trade Center (ITC), Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP)

Starting Date: 2020

Team Members: Dr Vaqar Ahmed, and Ms Mahnoor Arshad

Introduction: The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN). It is the only development agency that is fully dedicated to supporting the internationalization of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). ITC’s mission is to foster inclusive and sustainable economic development, and contribute to achieving the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

ITC is implementing the EU funded ‘Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress’ (GRASP) project which aims to contribute to the reduction of poverty through development of rural MSMEs in selected districts within two provinces of Pakistan: Balochistan and Sindh. GRASP will focus on selected product lines within livestock and horticulture.

GRASP will take a holistic approach to building MSME competitiveness in agribusiness value chains starting from a deep understanding of markets and working back through the value chain to enable MSMEs and ultimately producers to create and capture additional value.



The following objectives are to be achieved under the proposed study:

  • Develop a chronological list of events that were undertaken by the government at federal level and provincial level in Sindh and Balochistan targeting MSMEs to cope with the pandemic
  • Assess institutional efficiencies and capacities with regards to their response to the pandemic particularly PDMAs (Sindh and Balochistan), NDMA, and Livestock, Industries, Agriculture, food, finance and health departments of the two provinces
  • Analyze adequacies of response by the above mentioned departments and sufficiency of regulatory regime governing their responses
  • Effect of sufficiency or insufficiency of regulatory and institutional responses and deployment of resources and interventions on small holder farmers and MSMEs
  • Identification of way forward and specific interventions for institutional and regulatory sufficiency to deal with similar situations and revival of rural economy at federal and provincial levels ( recommendations on immediate and long term regulatory and institutional reform)

Most recently, due to Corona pandemic the MSMEs, small holder farmers and general public of the country was hard hit due to slow down of economic activities and consumption patterns. In order to deal with pandemic different public sector organizations responded with relief and rehabilitation efforts to contain the adverse effects of pandemic however these were perceived by many neither sufficient nor timely. Many federal and provincial government organizations were at the forefront to provide necessary support and guidance on protective measures to the general public, MSMEs, small holder farmers etc, Accordingly, there is a need to analyze the effectiveness and sufficiency of institutional support, institutional capacities, and regulatory regime and devise a set of interventions with a view to be better prepared should a similar pandemic occur in future.


  • Institutional capacity strengthened and business environment improved for rural MSME development
  • Agribusiness service providing MSMEs (run by Male/Female) and their BIOs are capacitated to enhance primary production and quality.
  • Commercially operating MSMEs Male/Female) are trained in appropriate environmentally sustainable technologies value and enhance marketed volumes

Status: Ongoing

For More Information, Contact the Following Person:

Mahnoor Arshad