The recent issue of Microwatch, a quarterly publication from Pakistan Microfinance Network suggests that “after a dismal conclusion to the past year, 2009 started on an encouraging note with microcredit growth in positive figures at the end of first quarter.”
CEO of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA), Mr Shahid Rasid, also spoke about the need for banking sector to come forward with help in SME sector development. He said:
- “The mounting task of SME development cannot be accomplished without sincere cooperation of the banking industry in the country.”
Since availability of microfinance to small businesses could be one of the ways to address the issue of lack of financing, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) set a target to increase the outreach of borrowers from 1.2 million to 2.5 million by the year 2010.
CIPE organized a business policy roundtable in August 2007. The roundtable was attended by 75 representatives of the banking and financial industry, business, and international organizations. SBP agreed to move all finalized recommendations through a review process and develop an appropriate implementation plan.
Following that, SBP organized a consultative group and included CIPE as a member. Based on roundtable recommendations, the consultative group advised SBP on key policy issues that were hampering the growth of microfinance sector. Last year, these efforts resulted in SBP adapting 80 percent private sector recommendations in the microfinance policy announced in 2008.