KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Wednesday that Rs432 billion of principal repayments of loans have been deferred under its refinancing scheme for protecting businesses from the impact of Covid-19.
Last month, it also introduced a scheme in collaboration with Pakistan Banks Association for deferment of principal amount.
To avail this relaxation, borrowers were advised to submit a written request to the banks before June 30. The debtors will continue to service the mark-up amount as per agreed terms and conditions.
According to the SBP’s circular, the deferment of principal will not affect borrower’s credit history and such facilities will also not be reported as restructured or rescheduled in the credit bureau’s data.
The SBP said the total amount of principal due over the next year is about Rs4.70 trillion.
“Around 0.6 million borrowers have benefitted from the scheme and over Rs59bn has been restructured or rescheduled,” said the bank in a tweet.
For borrowers whose financial conditions require relief beyond extension of principal repayment for one year, the SBP has relaxed the regulatory criteria for restructuring and rescheduling of loans.
The loans that are re-scheduled/restructured within 180 days from the due date of payment will not be treated as defaults.
It further said that by May 15, about 1,700 businesses have applied to commercial banks to benefit from SBP’s Rozgar Scheme for a total loan amount of Rs120bn and covering more than 1.1m employees.
The SBP earlier launched a scheme asking banks and development financial institutions to defer the payment of principal on loans and advances by one year.
The government and the SBP focused primarily to protect jobs from the fallout of countrywide lockdowns. A series of schemes were introduced to offer cheap liquidity to businesses, particularly small enterprises and daily wagers.
The SBP said on Tuesday that the majority of beneficiaries in the loan deferment and restructuring scheme are microfinance borrowers who benefitted to the tune of Rs37bn .
On April 22, it introduced incentives for businesses under the refinance scheme for payment of wages and salaries to workers and employees.To address the issue of providing security or collateral for small vendors and distributors, financing has been allowed against corporate guarantees of companies in value and supply-chain relationship with the borrowers.
Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2020