The 5th INSPIRED Steering Committee took place at the Ministry of Industries under the Chairmanship of the Honourable Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Industries Mr. Md. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan ndc. The attendees were the INSPIRED Project Director Mr. Sushen Chandra Das, Ms. Rubayat Jesmin, Delegation of the European Union, Mr. Khairul Kabir Menon, Deputy Project Director INSPIRED and Joint Chiefs of the Ministry of Industries; Mr. Mohammad Ali, Deputy Director of SME Section; representatives of Bangladesh Bank, Planning Commission, SME Foundation, BMB Mott MacDonald and members of the INSPIRED Technical Assistance team.
The INSPIRED Team Leader Ali Sabet was requested by the Chairman to update the members of the committee on the progress of the draft National SME Strategy. Mr. Sabet duly informed the Steering Committee that following on from the round of consultation meetings with major stakeholders, the draft National SME strategy had been completed by Senior Expert Dr. Monzur Hossain, with contribution from Professor Dr. Momtaz Uddin Ahmed, Director SMEF. The draft had been formally presented to the Ministry of Industries on 25th May 2016.
Mr. Ali Sabet suggested a guideline for an SME Act complementary to the SME Strategy. The Chairman replied that an SME Act is very important issue for economic development. He recommended that within the project activity period that is before 21st November 2016, guidelines for a draft SME Act should be completed. Neighbouring and near countries such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines and Korea have all taken steps in this direction.
The good cooperation between the INSPIRED programme and the SME Foundation was discussed. The SME Foundation has had the benefit of several high level training courses as well as practical assistance. Such cooperation will continue for the remaining duration of the project.
The Steering Committee went on the discuss the increasing “ownership” of the INSPIRED project that has been demonstrated by the Project Director and Ministry members of the SME Section including their field visits to Grant Beneficiaries during their activities. Other issues such as monitoring and evaluation pertaining to the INSPIRED SMCS grant scheme, which is now in the closure stage, were also discussed.