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March 26, 2020

SCCI demands inclusion of SMEs in relief package

National

March 26, 2020

PESHAWAR: The business community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Wednesday hailed the prime minister’s financial relief package and demanded the government to extend the same to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as these were adversely affected in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz made the demand while addressing small industrialists and traders through a video link from the Chamber's House.

The meeting welcomed the PM’s economic relief package and sought the trickle-down impact of the special relief package for the poor masses and revival of ailing economic and industrialization units in the country.

The SCCI chief said that the small industries and businesses had closed down and were facing immense financial losses amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the province.

Therefore, he demanded the government to include small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the recently announced economic relief package in order to prevent them from suffering further fiscal loss.

Maqsood Pervaiz termed the reduction of 1.5 per cent in interest rate announced by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) as insufficient to mitigate the sufferings of businessmen and investors. He called for bringing down the markup rate to the single-digit in the upcoming fiscal budget.

The business chamber chief demanded the two weeks extension in payment of electricity and gas bills of small industries. He also called for reducing taxes for small and medium industries and businesses.

The SCCI president urged the government and the State Bank of Pakistan to reschedule loans which had been disbursed to businesses and commercial institutions besides bringing down markup rate to a single digit.

Praising the decision of the prime minister for issuance of refund payments, he said the decision should be implemented in letter and spirit to ensure the timely issuance of payments of refunds to industries, exporters and importers.