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Businessmen must fully exploit corona related incentive-based schemes: SBP Governor

  • He said, despite huge share in national economy, the business community belonging to this city was poorly availing from the SBP schemes.
10 Sep 2020

FAISALABAD: State Bank of Pakistan Governor Reza Baqir said on Wednesday that Faisalabad was contributing 20 percent share to national economy and local businessmen must fully exploit the corona related incentive-based schemes of the SBP to further expedite the process of industrialization.

He was addressing a meeting at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) to have direct interaction with the business community to give them awareness about SBP schemes and motivate them to avail the schemes in the best national interest.

He said, despite huge share in national economy, the business community belonging to this city was poorly availing from the SBP schemes.

He said that commercial banks avoid out-of-the-box solutions of the problems but in corona like situation, these become imperative and we are also encouraging them to resolve the issues so that negative impact of corona could be controlled and compensated as early as possible.

Introducing new SBP Deputy Governor Sima Kamil Cheema, he said that she had vast experience in commercial banking and was working on various schemes including agriculture finance, female entrepreneurs and digitalization, etc.

Reza Baqir said, these schemes would give a jump start to the economy particularly to the SME sector.

He said the SBP had holistic approach which, apart from facilitating the borrowers, wanted to discourage the misuse of incentive-based schemes.

He said that when corona started, the policy rate was 13.25% which had been brought down to 7% within a shortest possible time which would help businessmen to compete their rivals efficiently and affectedly.

He said that private credit was around Rs. 6 trillion and due to cut in policy rate, borrowers would enjoy a saving of Rs. 470 billion per annum in terms of cash flow and output.

Similarly, the banks also deferred the installments of Rs. 640 billion, he said and added that 90 percent SME sector was the major beneficiary of this scheme.

Regarding non-performing loan, he said the loan limit of sick units had been doubled which would give them benefit of Rs. 170 billion in mark-up.

Regarding Rozgar scheme, The SBP Governor said that it was a foremost duty of State Bank to save the jobs of private sector employees.

Hence, the SBP launched refinance scheme to provide loan at 3% to the employers who would retain their employees during corona lockdown. Initially this scheme was for three months which was later extended to six months.

A sum of Rs. 180 billion had been released under the scheme; he said and added that borrowers would have liquidity impact of Rs. 1000 billion.

He also appreciated the efforts of government to contain the COVID-19 and said that Temporary Economic Refinance Scheme was launched on the pattern of LTF (long term finance).

The scheme was initially for five export-oriented sectors but later it was opened for all sectors so that they could also contribute their role in the revival of national economy, he said and added this scheme was available by March 30 and hence, people must avail from it.

Regarding sick units, Reza Baqir said that commercial banks avoid from indulging in conflicts of commercial nature, however, the SBP was facilitating them so that they could contribute their role in the rehabilitation and revival of sick industrial units.

It will not only help Pakistan to increase its productivity and export but also provide much needed jobs to the jobless youth, he added.

The SBP Governor said that loan worth Rs 5 billion was disbursed through the help desk established at FCCI which had secured jobs of more than 50,000 workers.

Regarding applications of loan by female entrepreneurs, he said that only 22 percent applications came from Faisalabad.

He said that many more schemes had also been launched to offset the ill-impact of corona on our economy and business community must avail from these schemes.

Regarding renewable energy, he said that three categories had been identified for which loans could be applied with 6% interest for a period of 10 years.

He said that share of Faisalabad in these schemes was only one percent which was an eye opener for the FCCI.

SBP Deputy Governor Sima Kamil Cheema also explained salient features of different schemes and said that State Bank was bridging gap between the borrowers and banks for the early revival of sick units.

She said that many schemes were also being launched for female entrepreneurs while help desks had also been established in different chambers to facilitate the borrowers.

Now, the SBP is working on a digital, online and automatic portal for the expeditious redressal of genuine complaints, she added.

Earlier, FCCI president Rana Sikandar Azam appreciated the steps taken by SBP Governor Reza Baqir and requested him to identify the areas where business community could play its role in strengthening the national economy.

During this function, Vice President FCCI Bilal Waheed, Farooq Yousuf, Engineer Ahmad Hasan, Kashif Zia, Habibur Rehman Gill, Rana Irkam Ullah, Abdullah Qadri, Ashfaq Ashraf and Dr Sajjad Arshad were also present besides Ashraf Khan, Samar Hasnain, Rana Aqeel Ashraf, Sarfraz Ahmad Nadeem Chief Manager and Chaudhary Muhammad Akbar Deputy Chief Manager SBP Faisalabad. Earlier, soon after his arrival, Reza Baqir planted a sapling in the lawn of FCCI.

He also unveiled a plaque for the ground breaking ceremony of new complex of FCCI in M-III Industrial Estate. He also cut ribbon to inaugurate the SBP help desk in FCCI.