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ICCI urges banks to provide easy credit facility to SMEs

ICCI urges banks to provide easy credit facility to SMEs

ISLAMABAD: Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that SMEs were playing key role in the economic development of countries, but they were facing great problems in obtaining loans from banks in Pakistan due to tough collateral conditions and could not grow up to their real potential.

He urged that banks in Pakistan should provide easy credit facility to SMEs so that these businesses could grow fast and play more effective role in the economic development of our country. He said this after inaugurating a new branch of Metro Habib Bank in Islamabad.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that around 3.2 million SMEs were operating in Pakistan providing jobs to 78 percent non-agricultural labor force, contributing 30 percent to GDP and making 25 percent share to total exports.

However, he said that due to lack of access to finance, they were facing difficulties in expansion and growth. He said that banks should launch preferential easy credit schemes for SMEs that would help these businesses to achieve rapid growth, create more jobs, improve exports and enhance tax revenue of the country.

ICCI President said that SBP had launched a financing policy for SMEs in 2017 that aimed to increase private sector credit from current 8 percent to 17 percent and increase number of credit availing businesses from current less than 164000 to over half a million by 2020. However, this policy could not make good progress so far as tough collateral conditions of banks for SMEs were the main hurdle for crowding in private sector for credit.

He emphasized that banks should revise current credit policy for SMEs and make it more attractive for them so that maximum SMEs could avail easy credit for expansion and growth and put Pakistan on the path of sustainable economic development. He lauded the efforts of Metro Habib Bank in banking sector and stressed that it should offer a special package of easy credit for SMEs.