The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Raza Baqir to take prompt steps to strengthen the rupee and take measures to stop rupee from depreciation so that positive impact of current good financial measures of government could be passed on to the SME or affected sectors of the economy.
UNISAME Council experts said it is pertinent to note that due to lockdown the hands of the business community are tied and it is essential to stay at home to overcome the spread of the Coronavirus but it is equally important for SBP to plan ahead and be prepared with implementation of measures once the spreading is over and matter is under control hopefully within the next 2 weeks.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said it is encouraging to witness reduction of discount rate by SBP, however it should be in single digit. In this regard it should be reviewed again by SBP on monthly basis and needs to drop down to single digit as quickly as possible. Secondly the government should cut down the duties and tax rates on imports and exports to boost the confidence of exporters and importers. SBP should encourage banks in coordination with Pakistan Credit Guarantee Company to lend to SMEs and affected units for revival of the industry.
Government should give subsidies to SME sector exporters and other manufacturers on utility bills like gas and electricity which helps them to start and enhance their production capacity to fulfill their export and manufacturing orders. In other word cost of doing business should be comparative with international markets to enable them to compete.
SBP should also cover SME traders and other commercial exporters in their refinance or conventional rates schemes which currently are not covered in their existing refinance and credit guarantee schemes.