National Credit Guarantee Company launched to bolster financial accessibility for SMEs

NCGCL will prepare financial products for 1.5 million SMEs

The government has launched the National Credit Guarantee Company Limited (NCGCL) in a move to enhance the financial accessibility for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). 

The NCGCL, a collaborative venture between the Government of Pakistan and Karandaaz Pakistan, aims to revolutionise the SME sector by broadening the avenues for finance.

Addressing the launching ceremony on Friday, the caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar expressed her optimism about the NCGCL’s capacity to transform the SME landscape through widespread financial access. 

She said that the company is set to establish a framework that will address market challenges faced by SMEs, preparing financial products for an estimated 1.5 million SMEs, with a market size exceeding PKR 3.7 trillion.

The NCGCL’s strategy includes partnering with financial institutions to ensure the consistent availability of credit, thereby facilitating the SMEs’ growth and development. With SMEs accounting for approximately 40% of Pakistan’s GDP and employing 80% of the non-agricultural labor force, the sector represents a vital component of the economy, particularly for the lower-income groups.

The establishment of the NCGCL is heralded as a landmark institutional reform, aimed at invigorating the SME sector, which has been impeded by insufficient investments. This initiative is expected to pave the way for sustainable economic growth and development in Pakistan.

Earlier, the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production, during its meeting on January 11, extensively delved into the role and impact of SMEs, shedding light on their pivotal economic significance. The standing committee disclosed that Pakistan has 5.2 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), constituting a robust 40% contribution to the GDP. 

The committee scrutinised the operations of the Small and Medium Development Authority (SMEDA), where officials emphasized the creation of an impressive economic value of Rs. 9.85 for every rupee invested. It is important to know that only the entities totaling 80 million Rupees fall within the SME category. As of now 64% of these entities are concentrated in Punjab. 

Comprising a diverse array of businesses, from manufacturing to services, SMEs represent the heartbeat of entrepreneurial vitality. In Pakistan, SMEs account for nearly 90% of all businesses, employing over 80% of the non-agricultural workforce. SMEs play a pivotal role in poverty reduction and regional development. 

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