SBP’s SME Asaan Finance Scheme (SAAF) is Grossly Insufficient & Self-Contradictory: FPCCI Chief

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Karachi:   Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President FPCCI, has expressed his dissatisfaction over the exorbitant interest rate of up to 9% allowed to commercial banks under SBP’s SME Asaan Finance Scheme (SAAF). He added that SBP will provide refinancing to the commercial banks at 1% and they will be allowed to charge up to 8% on top of that, i.e. up to 9% in total.

FPCCI chief demanded that SAAF scheme should not have a total interest rate over 3.0% to make it at par with TERF to make it affordable for SMEs.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo added that SBP’s total refinance limit for the program appears to be a small and insignificant amount of Rs. 1.19bn as per budget documents for the year 2021-22; under the head of Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Collateral Free Lending to SMEs. He termed the miniscule amount for the SAAF scheme for the year 2021-22 a joke with SMEs.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo expressed his shock over the fact that the TERF scheme has a total overlay of Rs. 560bn and has mainly gone to large and established businesses and, on the other hand, SMEs continue to be neglected by SBP.