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State Bank urges SMEs to take benefit from SBP’s SME Finance Policy

Our Special Correspondent

LAHORE: While speaking to SMEs based in Sialkot, Syed Samar Hasnain,
Executive Director, State Bank of Pakistansaidthat State Bank has put
in place number of refinance facilities both for purchase of plant &
machinery for SMEs and working capital finance for special sectors.In
meetings with manufacturers and exporters belonging to SME sectors and
bankers based in Sialkot today, he emphasized that bankshave been
instructedto inform SMEs about their facilities.  At the same time, he
also urged the SMEs to take a step ahead and approach nearby bank
branches to know about SBP’s facilitates available for them.

Mr. Hasnain stated“In terms of numbers, most of the entities in your
region are SMEs. If you want to graduate from indirect exporter to
direct exporter, you can modernize and expand your plant and equipment
by availing SBP’s refinance facilities for modernization”. He
encouragedthe SMEs to avail SBP’s refinance facility for renewable
energy to overcome power problem.  Adding further, he said that SMEs
can also use SBP’s subsidized refinance facility for setting up silos,
cold storage facility and warehouses. Mr. Hasnain assured the SMEs
that SBPBSC- Sialkot office will be taking stock of the financing
extended to SMEs and progress in this regard will also be monitored
closely.

In apresentation, salient features of SBP’s Policy for Promotion of
SME Finance were explained.It highlighted the nine pillars of the
policy, namely, i) Improving Regulatory Framework; ii) Upscaling
through Microfinance Banks; iii) Risk Mitigation Strategy; iv)
Simplified Procedure for SME Financing; v) Program Based Lending &
Value Chain Financing; vi) Capacity Building & Awareness Creation;
vii) Handholding of SMEs – Non Financial Advisory Service; viii)
Leveraging Technology to promote SME Financing; and, ix) Simplifying
Taxation Regime for SMEs.

The meetings/awareness sessions were attended by representatives from
associations including Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers & Exporters
Association, Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers & Exporters Association,
Leather Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Pakistan
Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association and Pakistan Cutlery &
Stainless Utensils Manufacturers and Exporters Association in Sialkot.
Regional heads, SME heads and branch managers of all banks operating
in the region also participated in these meetings. Chief Manger SBP
Sialkot was also present on the occasion.

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