ECC okays Refinance, Credit Guarantee Scheme for SMEs

Mohammad Arshad

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, Friday, approved the summary “Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Collateral Free Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” to facilitate SMEs which do not have collateral to get financing from banks.

The proposed scheme will enable the SBP to partner with selected banks through a transparent procedure and provide collateral free financing to SMEs to promote sustainable economic growth and development in the country.

ECC met here with Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin in the chair and directed the SBP to develop a comprehensive monitoring mechanism with clear-cut benchmarks for effective performance evaluation of the scheme.

SAPM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr. Sania Nishtar presented a summary regarding allocation of funds for launching 2nd phase of Ehsaas Emergency Cash (EEC) program.

It was proposed that number of regular Ehsaas Kafalat beneficiaries would be increased and additional beneficiaries would be added (after identification through ongoing NSER) to mitigate economic hardships amid Covid-19 pandemic during the second phase of EEC.

After due deliberations, the ECC recommended the Ehsaas program to evaluate whether the new NSER survey target those sectors which have been adversely affected due to smart and micro lockdowns during COVID-19 and present updated proposal before the Committee.

The underlying rationale is to provide targeted subsidies to support the most vulnerable segments of the society during the third wave of the pandemic.

Secretary Power placed a summary before the Committee for allocation of 3.0 MMCFD gas from well NF Hor-1 (RE) to M/S PPL, for a period of two years, for sale to any third party selected through a competitive bidding process at a mutually agreed and negotiated price under a Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA).

The ECC considered and approved the summary with a direction that such summaries may be dealt at the level of the concerned Ministry / Division after fulfilling all codal formalities.

The ECC evaluated a summary by the Board of Investment (BOI) regarding exemption from minimum Turnover Tax under Special Economic Zones Act 2012 to facilitate both SEZ developers and its enterprises.

After detailed discussion, the Committee directed the Law Division, FBR and BOI to firm-up proposals through mutual consultation regarding implementation of the exemption from minimum Turnover Tax and present before the next ECC for requisite approval.

The Ministry of Privatization made a detailed presentation before the ECC regarding grant of National Security Certificate (NSC) and outstanding payables and recoverable issues of Karachi Electric.