The textile division under Pakistan’s ministry of commerce and textile and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) recently signed an agreement in Lahore to jointly set-up industrial stitching units across the country. Under phase-1 of the project, 150 such units will be established in three years at a cost of Rs. 350 mn.

Masoodul Hassan Qureshi, Senior Joint Secretary in the Ministry, and Javed Iqbal Khattak, SMEDA’s General Manager, outreach, signed the agreement, according to some reports. SMEDA will implement the project as per its own policy and procedures, design an operation manual for the project and will not sublet the implementation to any other party or executing agency. The agreement will automatically extend for another three years unless the two sides disagree.

The project aims to reduce poverty, improve socio-economic conditions, enhance self-employment through skill development, promote exports through value addition, empower women and upgrade the textile sector by subsidising machinery for entrepreneurs and existing manufacturers.