KARACHI: Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to design and develop SME Credit Card for the benefit of small to medium sized entrepreneurs and facilitate them to purchase goods and raw material on credit for their units.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the commercial banks have not yet developed the much needed special credit cards for SME units and as such the SBP could develop and entrust the commercial banks to launch the credit card with tailored limits based on the rating of the SME unit.
He said the credit cards in vogue used by individuals if not paid on maturity are liable to heavy mark up which sometimes goes up to almost 30% per annum ( p.a.) and as a result prove very costly and would not suit the SMEs. It is therefore necessary for SBP to design and develop SME credit card which would facilitate the SME to purchase goods on credit and repay the amount used within a specified period with affordable mark up. He pointed out that the commercial banks and leasing companies are financing SMEs to purchase cars on credit and repay in easy instalments on mark up of KIBOR plus 3 to 4% and if they finance the SMEs by providing them credit cards on KIBOR plus 2% p.a. basis it would facilitate them to purchase stocks for their shops and manufacturing units could purchase raw materials for their units.
The union chief pointed out that in many countries of the world the SMEs are welcomed by the banks and the banks facilitate the small entrepreneurs to buy shops, offices, workshops and also enable them to purchase stocks for their shops and outlets and raw material for their factories and also finance them to buy vehicles for income generation such as shops on wheels.
He said he observed that in many countries the SMEs are treated with dignity and respect and self employment is highly appreciated and enterprising youths are given loans to buy shops on wheels for selling ice creams, fast food and in some countries the hair dressers, cobblers and laundrymen are also financed to buy vehicles that generate income.