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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Thursday that the government is focusing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector for achieving sustainable development.

The finance minister held a meeting with the Minister for Industries and Production, Makhdoom Khusroo Bakhtiyar, to discuss the features of a new credit scheme for the SME sector and Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Reza Baqir joined the meeting through video link and briefed Tarin on the proposal for the provision of funds for the small businesses (without collateral) for up to three years through the network of commercial banks.

He also shared that, at present, there are around a 100,000 small businesses availing the SME credit facilities provided by the commercial banks.

The new scheme will accelerate the credit uptake ratio of the smaller businesses up to 30 percent, approximately, during three years.

The SBP governor further informed the finance minister that the banks will design innovative products to reach out to the smaller businesses, whereas, the government will provide risk sharing facility to the banks.

The finance minister affirmed to provide the seed money for the scheme.

The provision of microcredit would create employment opportunities at the local level and in turn, enhance GDP growth and will help in achieving sustainable and robust economic growth, he concluded.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood was also present during the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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