Over 8000 crisis-hit SMEs applied for grants so far

PESHAWAR:More than eight thousand SMEs from the merged districts of erstwhile FATA have filed applications for grants under the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) funded Economic Revitalization of KP and FATA (ERKF) project so far.

According to officials of the project, more than 8000 crisis-hit SMEs from the merged districts have been submitted applications till the evening of Friday. The current applications are invited under the Round-II of the project. In the Round-I about 400 SMEs of the tribal belt were given grants.

In the Round-II an amount of Rs.600 million is likely to be distributed in those SMEs that were either affected by terrorism or natural calamity. The fund is manifold less than the loss inflicted on the SMEs of tribal region by terrorism and natural calamity.

“Due to higher number of applicants and limited fund a large number of applicants can remained deprived of the grant,” the official added.

Besides, Peshawar, applications under the project was also being filed at Bajaur, Mohmand and D.I. Khan.

The authorities have clarified to the business community of the merged districts that due to limited fund, issuance of grant to all applicants would be impossible.

After collection of applicants two separate committees will scrutinize the documents wherein the rejection of the applications on the basis of deficiency and lack of verification could not be ruled out.

Meanwhile, the business community of the merged districts of the former FATA and applicants are demanding increase in the funding of the project to continue it in future and enable the SMEs of the region to take maximum benefits of it.