Banking

Commercial Banks should eradicate their reluctance to lend to SMEs

Islamabad, November 27, 2019: The recent conference on SMEs in Islamabad was a great effort to recognize the SMEs of Pakistan, redress their grievances, address their issues like unemployment / easy access to finance and strengthening the coordination between SMEs and Authorities,  stated Ateeq Ur Rehman (Economic and Financial Analyst.

He said Pakistan’s SME contributes 40percent to the GDP, constitutes 90percent of the enterprises, employs 80percent non-agricultural workers and contributes 25percent of the exports have been neglected and ignored by previous governments. SMEs are the backbone of our economy and are facing major access to finance, hike in interest rate, a higher rate of taxation, collateral and government policies.

 Cash Flows are a problem for SMEs because of easy access to finance and demand for payment of funds. Further, it is unlikely that can trigger expansion or increase investment. The lackluster performance reflected the overall economic slowdown in the ongoing fiscal year. It is so difficult to understand as to why, this sector from the financial of Pakistan only on supplication of doubtful nonperforming loans in the past and has resulted in erosion of equity.

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Pakistan’s economic downturn has indeed exacerbated these problems. Growing cost of doing business and high cost of production has attributed to Pakistani SME Difficulties. Due to hike in of imported raw material and Rupee depreciation against USD coupled with 4percent to 11percent and additional sales tax all these extra are being alone born by SMEs and they are absorbing these losses on their balance sheets. Absence of finance has frustrated the development of this vital segment of the economy.

It still remains financially excluded. Support to SME is eminent for the Job Growth, alleviating poverty and Bolstering Economic Growth.

He appreciated that It is encouraging to note that the government has finally decided to enhance private sector credit for SMEs from the current 7.5% to set the target of taking the SME credit to 17percent by 2023 and borrowers from 2 lac to 3 lac. It will be quite persuading if the commercial banks eradicate their reluctance to lend to SMEs.  

He requested to include the representatives and experts of SMEs in such conferences in the future.

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