Daily The Business

State Bank claims supporting SMEs

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Our Special Correspondent
Lahore: To improve awareness about its SME finance policy and
refinance schemes, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted meetings
with manufacturers and exporters of cutlery, stainless steelutensils,
water pumps and ceramics belonging to SME sector in Gujranwala.
Representing SBP, Syed Samar Hasnain, Executive Director, State Bank
of Pakistan 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% per annum and that banks are also incentivized to lend to SMEs,”
said Mr. Hasnain. He elaborated on recent measures including
enhancement of maximum loan limit to Rs.1 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.

Mr. Hasnain informed the participants that banks have been advised to
promote non-financial advisory services for hand-holding of SMEs.
Adding further, he shared that in order to better serve SMEs the
National Institute of Banking and Finance, a wholly owned subsidiary
of SBP, has trained around 2,500 bankers last year.

Mr. 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 of8.5% of the total private-sector credit to 17%
by 2023. He added that 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 giventargets at
national and provincial levels. He stressed upon banks and SME
associations to create regional and national level awareness
campaigns.

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