FAISALABAD: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir on Monday said that documentation for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector should be minimized so that SMEs can fully benefit from SBP’s Refinance Scheme.
The SBP governor said this in an online meeting with the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Rana Muhammad Sikandar Azam Khan.
The SBP governor in this regard, also constituted a committee headed by SBP Executive Director Dr Anayat Hussain.
Reza Baqir said that the committee will review the SBP refinance scheme and identify documentation which can be exempted .
He further directed the committee to immediately start work and present viable suggestions at the earliest.
Regarding banking hours, he said that a circular has been issued and all commercial banks will remain operational from 9 AM to 5.30 PM from Monday to Friday.
‘’It will not only mitigate the burden on banks but also facilitate the people,’’ he added.
The SBP governor also announced a separate committee headed by SBP Faisalabad chief manager. “The committee will also include FCCI president in addition to other elected office bearers of local trade bodies,” he said adding that the committee will meet every month and solve problems of local nature immediately.
Reza Baqir said that another committee will also be constituted which will access possible impacts of Covid-19 on struggling businesses units.
“A separate meeting will also be arranged with the owners of these sick units,’’ the SBP governor assured.
Earlier, FCCI President Rana Muhammad Sikandar Azam Khan thanked SBP governor for having direct contact with the stakeholders and resolving their genuine issues.
He also appreciated SBP governors efforts to pass on the benefits of the refinance scheme to the needy segments.
“In this connection SBP Faisalabad chief manager has been nominated as focal person to resolve any bottleneck,’’ he added.
He said that the sick business units were on their way to restart operations when Covid-19 started spreading, halting their progress.
He said that banks should reschedule loans of such units under SBP’s incentive package.
FCCI president also thanked the SBP governor for setting up a dedicated help desk at FCCI and added that extensive publicity campaigns have been run so that maximum people can avail SBP’s incentive package.
FCCI has also written letters to the all elected office bearers of major trade associations with a request to convince their members to avail help from the help desk set up at FCCI.
President FCCI further urged the government to focus on filers instead of facilitating non-filers adding that facilitating filers is necessary for achieving documentation of the economy.
He also thanked SBP for decreasing the policy rate to 7 per cent but added that the high banking spread has practically nullified the benefits of the incentive package. He urged the SBP to fix a maximum ratio for banking spread.