State Bank support SMEs setting up, growth

State Bank support SMEs setting up, growth

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has come up with many incentives and facilities to support small and medium enterprises in setting up and their growth.

For creating awareness about SBP’s SME finance policy and refinance schemes, the State Bank of Pakistan conducted meetings with manufacturers and exporters of cutlery, stainless steel utensils, water pumps and ceramics belonging to SME sector in Gujranwala on Thursday, said a SBP statement issued here.

Representing SBP, its Executive Director Syed Samar Hasnain said that SMEs can avail a number of financial services such as setting up and expansion of their business and working capital finance for specific sectors.

“All refinance facilities are available for end users at fixed rate of 6 percent per annum and that banks are also incentivized to lend to SMEs,” he said.

He elaborated on recent measures including enhancement of maximum loan limit to Rs one million from Microfinance Banks, simplification of loan application form and fixation of maximum turn-around-time with the aim to facilitate small and medium enterprises.

He informed the participants that banks have been advised to promote non-financial advisory services for hand-holding of SMEs.

He shared that for better serving SMEs the National Institute of Banking and Finance, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBP, has trained around 2,500 bankers last year.

Syed Samar Hasnain asserted that SME finance policy along with number of refinance facilities for the SMEs will pave way to enhance current share of SME finance of 8.5% of the total private-sector credit to 17% by 2023.

He said the number of borrowers is also expected to rise from current 180,000 to 700,000 by 2023.

He informed the participants that to achieve these objectives, banks have been given targets at national and provincial levels.

He stressed upon banks and SME associations to create regional and national level awareness campaigns.