APBF demands soft financing for SMEs

Urges govt to take concrete steps to keep economy running amid Covid-19 crisis

​ Our Correspondent April 25, 2020
All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) President Ibrahim Qureshi. PHOTO: APBF

LAHORE: The All Pakistan Business Forum has expressed dissatisfaction over the financial package announced by the government for industry to deal with the challenges posed by coronavirus.

They demanded concrete steps be taken to keep industrial wheels running especially of SMEs to save livelihood of millions amid the Covid-19 crisis.

In its board meeting, the APBF officials demanded the government to announce soft financing with maximum mark-up of 3% for SMEs to meet operational charges, employees' salaries, building rental and utility cost, as the rest of the world has been providing loans at zero percent interest to bail out their collapsing businesses.

APBF Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi said that with a view to save the economy from the impacts of the slowdown due to the coronavirus the government should announce special incentives for the cash-strapped small and medium industry, which represents more than 90% of around 3.2 million business enterprises in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, APBF President Syed Maaz Mahmood expressed concern over not passing on full relief to the public of oil price cut in the global market.

"It is unfortunate that instead of providing full relief to the consumers, the government increased general sales tax and petroleum levy on fuel," he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2020.

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