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KARACHI: Economic & Financial Analyst, Ateeq Ur Rehman has said that the drafted scheme titled “Re-Finance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Collateral Free lending to SMEs will certainly facilitate the small segment of the business.

SBP is likely to provide collateral free refinancing of Rs60 billion to SMEs through banking sector of Pakistan which is approved by Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet is a breathtaking news and demand of the day and will have significant positive effect on overcoming difficult and challenging times of small businesses, small traders, vendors and SMEs, he said.

The small businesses, small traders, vendors and SMEs of Pakistan are facing extreme financial hardships and have become weaker segment of the society due to unbearable electricity tariffs, un-necessary, continuous notices by FBR and additional taxes / import duties / custom duties on raw material when the businesses are already trembling due to Covid-19. Also, there is Economic meltdown due to complete or partial lockdowns in Businesses.

He added that running a business under such circumstances has become a Herculean task and daunting challenge for them. How can economy move and sustain its growth with such untoward situation for the businesses, Ateeq asked?

Ateeq said that the upcoming budget should consider incentives and priorities of the small businesses and SMEs as a whole.

When the lending countries can grant moratorium to the developing and poor nations, why not the government announces a moratorium for small businesses if they are under debt due to dilapidated circumstances. The 4 percent anticipated growth of GDP is only possible once the considerations are favourable for the small businesses of the country, also.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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