The Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economic as well as medical infrastructures of nations across the globe. Pakistan has been no exception. Although the number of cases has slowly receded, the true impact on the economy is still unfolding. It has taken a cohesive effort on part of various government entities to dilute some of the adverse effects that the outbreak would otherwise have had on the economy.
The State Bank of Pakistan’s Rozgar Scheme has been one initiative among several which have stabilized unemployment numbers across the country. Jobs are a key economic factor and around the world, extensive downsizing has increased the stress on governments as well as their efforts to curtail the negative impacts of the crisis. Numerous stimulus packages have been introduced with the SBP launching an incentivized 3% interest rate credit option to organizations which commit not to lay off any employees during the specified period.
Retail banks have played an instrumental role in forwarding these loans to respective customers and the results have been profound. JS Bank alone has contributed to saving more than 90,000 jobs and approximately 190 companies from bankruptcy. According to data made available by the State Bank, JS Bank took the first spot during the initial phase of funding and then again secured the highest rank during the second phase, disbursing the highest amount of loans under the scheme.
So far, JS Bank has lent more than PKR 11 billion to various businesses and employers across the country and disbursements will continue until September 2020. Several other banks have disbursed equally significant amounts of loans under this scheme, collectively contributing to providing companies and their staff with much needed support during these trying times.