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State Bank conducts awareness campaign on SME finance in Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat

Our Special Correspondent

LAHORE: State Bank of Pakistan has completed its four-day SME finance
awareness campaign in Sialkot, Gujranwala and Gujrat from March 13 to
March 16, 2019 wherein meetings and interactions were held with over
2,000 representatives of various SME clusters. Over 300 senior bankers
including regional & zonal heads of the banks participated in these
programmes. Seven separate sessions were held in these cities whereas
a large SME Finance Mela was organized in Gujranwala in coordination
with Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Small & Medium Enterprises
Development Authority.

In the inaugural session of the Mela, President Gujranwala Chamber of
Commerce  addressed the participants and assured full support of the
chamber for continuing  awareness programmes on SBP’s policies for
SMEs.

In his key note address, Syed Samar Hasnain, Executive Director, State
Bank of Pakistan, informed the participants that the distinct feature
of the Mela is that the banks offering various SME products get
connected with the SMEs desirous of availing financing facilities.
On-spot solutions to the problems being faced by participating SMEs
were provided to them in the Mela. Number of banks showed their
interest in providing SME finance. Banks also showed their interest in
visiting Wazirabad Cutlery market to workout financing solutions for
over 900 SME vendors working in that market.

It may be recalled that State Bank of Pakistan conducted the awareness
campaign because lack of awareness on the part of SMEs was found as a
key reason due to which SMEs could not avail financing facilities
available under SBP SME Finance Policy or SBP’s subsidized refinance
facilities. In order to improve awareness, banks have already been
urged to provide details of such facilities to the SMEs in their
areas. The unique nature of the four-day awareness campaign was that
apart from face-to-face meetings with the stakeholders, each day event
was thoroughly covered by both print and electronic media. Day-end
media talks were held with local and national level media channels in
the three cities for mass media awareness at general public level.

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