SME Bank to dish out Rs 1b to small businesses this year
ISLAMABAD: The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Bank plans to disburse Rs 1 billion in the year 2003, expected to grow to Rs 1.5 billion by the end of 2004, Daily Times learned on Wednesday from a briefing on the SME Bank to Shaukat Aziz, adviser to the prime minister on Finance.
Mansoor Khan, president of SME Bank, gave the briefing on performance of the bank with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor also.
The briefing was informed that SME Bank, which was created after restructuring of Small Business Finance Corporation (SBFC) and Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC) has disbursed loans of Rs 163 million to 453 SMEs It has also approved 232 SME loans amounting to Rs 188 million to be disbursed shortly. After it was restructured, the SME has so far created around 1500 new jobs.
The SME Bank has disbursed loans worth Rs 800 million up to December 31, 2002.
Mr Aziz said SME Bank should introduce industry-specific targeted lending and set the benchmarks for better performance.
Mr Aziz said the government was committed to promoting small and medium enterprises to generate employment (especially in rural areas) and promote development and skills.
He said the government has identified housing, agriculture, manufacturing, micro-financing and consumer financing as priority areas for bank lending and SME Bank could play a leading part in promoting productivity.
He said the elected government wanted to promote employment by accelerating industrial growth. He also urged the president and senior management of SME Bank to maintain close liaison with manufacturing and industrial associations and chambers of commerce and involve them in promoting credit finance through SME Bank. Mansoor Khan said at the briefing that to support and develop the small and medium enterprises, the SME Bank had already marketed its new projects under the Hunarmand Pakistani Programme. The projects in this programme include financing to manufacture fans, cutlery and surgical instruments, the services sector, women entrepreneurs and CNG stations. The projects that would be in the market shortly include power looms, motorcycle rickshaws, fruit and vegetable, fisheries including boats and processing and original equipment manufacturing.
After being restructured, the SME Bank had financed 529 projects amounting to Rs 269 million covering 23 sectors including automobiles, CNG, education, fisheries, food, garments, health, services, textiles, trading, manufacturing, power generation and pharmaceutical.