Pakistan Government to Set up $75 Million Fund for Small Borrowers, Microentrepreneurs
By Zafar Bhutta
The government has decided to set up a $75-million fund at the State Bank of Pakistan for borrowers interested in setting up small businesses, which is also expected to attract people to vote for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the upcoming general elections.
With the help of this fund, the rupee equivalent of $75 million will be disbursed to microfinance banks and microfinance institutions, which will, in turn, provide credit lines to eligible small borrowers including micro-entrepreneurs.
According to an official, Pakistan had launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in May 2015 to set a broader vision for achieving universal financial inclusion in the country. The strategy is aimed at providing financial access for 50% of the adult population by 2020.
In order to achieve the targets laid out in the NFIS, the Finance Division had designed the Financial Inclusion and Infrastructure Project under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) on October 6, 2017.
The project was planned to be financed through a five-year financial intermediary loan of $137 million provided by the World Bank.
Photo courtesy of Market Development Facility.