SBP defers Rs 657.16 billion under refinancing scheme during COVID-19

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ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), under its refinancing scheme for protecting businesses from the impact of COVID-19, has so far deferred Rs657.14 billion principal repayments of loans up to one year.

The bank also allowed restructuring or rescheduling of around Rs235.8 billion so far, according to the updated data of the central bank.

The number of borrowers that would benefit from this rescheduling relief has risen to 1,767,599 with outstanding amount of Rs 2.54 billion, it said.

Under its Rozgar scheme for protecting businesses and employees working with them from the impact of COVID-19, the central bank has so far approved Rs238.2 billion for 2,958 businesses.

Meanwhile, the bank under this refinancing scheme for hospitals to combat
COVID-19, approved financing of Rs10.073 billion for 43 hospitals so far.

As many as 46 hospitals had requested for the financing amounting to Rs13.8 billion.With respect to progress on refinance scheme for setting up new projects or expansion, the central bank approved 457 projects with an amount of Rs385.7 billion for which it received requests for 629 projects with amount of Rs 704.8 billion.

Furthermore, from March 20, 2020 to February 19, the Bank had issued fresh
currency notes to the commercial banks worth of Rs1.411 trillion.

Similarly an amount of Rs 46.6 billion was quarantined during the period that
was received from hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.

While overall the bank received cash worth of Rs1.45 trillion which was
quarantined for 14 days.

It is pertinent to mention here that in order to combat the impact of COVID-19 and to help the businesses in payment of wages and salaries to their workers and employees and thereby support continued employment in this challenging environment, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has introduced a temporary refinance scheme for payment of wages and salaries to the workers and employees of the business concerns.

This scheme was aimed at easing cash flow constraints of the employers and thereby avoid layoffs.

In addition, the SBP had expanded the scope of existing refinancing facilities and introduced a scheme to support hospitals and medical centers to purchase equipment to detect, contain and treat COVID-19 patients besides, stimulating investment in new manufacturing plants and machinery, as well as modernization and expansion of existing projects.