SBP’s SMEs policy aims to strengthen women

KARACHI: Additional director of State Bank head office Karachi Imran Ahmed said that state bank’s special SMEs policy for women will play a key role in providing a conducive environment for women to do their business but in this regard all relevant institutions and banks will have to work together to make it successful.

He was addressing SME policy awareness session in Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FWCCI).

He said that this time the state bank has specifically allocated two policies for business women including the finance and credit guarantee scheme for women and the refinancing for working capital finance of SMEs. He further told that SBP strives to provide women with all the facilities so that they can easily expand their business.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Manager Muhammad Akbar gave a detailed presentation on SMEs policy. He said that SMEs sector currently contributes 30 percent share of the country’s GDP while their share in exports is 25 percent similarly, it also provide employment to 78 percent of the industrial workforce.

He said that apart from 32 million registered SMEs, the number of unregistered companies is also in millions through which we can overcome the economic deficit by promoting them. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is providing a conducive environment to 32 million small and medium enterprises, he added. He further said that the state bank is doubling the available loans for the sector by 8.5 to 17 percent till 2023.

Talking about schemes launched specifically for business women, he said that under these schemes, a maximum of 8 percent markup will be received by the commercial banks while the state bank will have 0 percent earning in this regard. He told that state bank has issued directions to the commercial and Islamic banks to achieve maximum targets of extending loans facilities to the female entrepreneurs. He said that women can get small loans up to 1.5 million while the loan duration will be 5 years.

Under another schemes the female entrepreneurs could get loans up to rupee 50 million with maximum markups of 6 percent. He further told that the applications under these schemes would be disposed of positively within 15 or 25 days.

He said that State Bank intends to increase SMEs units to 7 lakh by 2020. He told that these schemes will have positive impact on our national economy as induction of female entrepreneurs will further boost the growth rate. He said that banks are being given necessary concessions in this regard. He urged upon the FWCCI members to avail from this facility in addition to convincing new young and educated girls to enter into this field to earn respectable living for contributing their role in national economy.

Earlier in her address of welcome Robeena Amjad President FWCCI said that the supply of capital to women is very important for industry and trade. In this regard, the schemes that the state bank is introducing to business women will definitely boost their business. She further said that the main purpose of this session is to create awareness among the women entrepreneurs belonging to this sector.

She said that main purpose of FWCCI is to introduce and educate women entrepreneurs with modern needs and I am confident that this seminar will be helpful in this regard. She said that the same session was held last year at our platform by the State Bank of Pakistan but this time we take it more serious and tried to gather maximum potential SMEs and freshly graduated students will be benefitted by these schemes.

She requests all the bankers sitting there to properly guide the public and remove the fear of borrowers to approach the bank.

Later Waqas Kashif Bajwa thanked all the guests and applauded the steps taken by Faisalabad Woman Chamber and State Bank Joint Venture.

Dr Asma Aziz, Director of Student Affairs GCUWF was also present.

Tehmina Afzal, Christina Peter, Noor ul huda, Aqsa Yaseen, Qurat Ul Ain Sahi and others took part in question answer session.