Karachi: State Bank of Pakistan, commercial banks and SCI-Pak may jointly develop an Energy & Resource Efficient E&RE network/ platform to address financial needs of Small & Medium Enterprises SMEs. This consensus was arrived at Roundtable meeting jointly organized by SBP & European Commission Funded SCI-Pak Project in Karachi.
It decided awareness campaigns for SMEs should be launched at grass root level to educate masses on various financial instruments developed by SBP for SMEs modernization. The purpose of roundtable was to identify strategies to foster communication, interaction between SBP, financial institutions & SMEs in facilitating SMEs access to finance A2F to undertake E&RE production.
Chaired by Mohammad Mansoor Ali, SBP Director Infrastructure Housing & SME Finance Department, it was attended by representatives of commercial banks, International Finance Corporation, SCI-Pak Project Consultants, Business Associations of textile processing and leather sector.
Mansoor Ali said although SMEs are typically vulnerable to economic downturns, yet given importance of SMEs to growth and employment prospects, “we have to encourage continued access to finance for SMEs. SBP unveiled number of initiatives to encourage lending to the sector.” These are establishing Credit Guarantee Scheme for SMEs, concessionary refinance scheme for modernizing SMEs, revision of regulatory framework for SME financing, conducting SME cluster surveys, financial awareness programs. He felt for sustainability of any initiative focused to fulfilling financing needs of SMEs; there should be strong commitment on part of both financial institutions and business associations.
Omar Malik, representative of SCI-Pak Project said E&RE is measure to reduce consumption of energy, resources, minimize creation of waste, Greenhouse Gas emissions and strengthen SMEs economic performance and competitiveness through cost reductions.