KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday expanded the scope of the Refinance Facility to Combat Covid-19 (RFCC) to manufacturing sector producing medical equipment and accessories.
Earlier, the facility was limited to expansion and establishment of hospitals.
“The scheme now allows manufacturers of protective gears and equipment, including items such as masks, dresses, testing kits, hospital beds, ventilators etc. to avail financing under RFCC,” said the SBP on Monday.
It said the decision was taken in view of the encouraging response for the facility and the potential to help the development of health facilities in the country.
The SBP on Mar 17 introduced the RFCC to support hospitals and health sector fighting against the Covid-19.
Under the scheme, banks will give out concessional loans at a maximum end-user rate of three per cent for five years to hospitals and medical centers to purchase medical equipment and set up isolation wards to fight against Covid-19.
As of July 2, Rs6.4 billion of concessional credit has been approved to hospitals and other eligible facilities.
Moreover, to cope with the rising needs for health facilities in general in the country, SBP has allowed hospitals serving patients even other than Covid-19 to avail this facility.
Refinance facility will be available for setting up or expansion of the existing hospitals fulfilling minimum specified standards. For setting up new hospitals under this scheme, payments will be released by the banks on completing relevant milestones.
The RFCC is highly subsidised facility through which the SBP provides refinance to banks at 0 per cent whereas banks can keep a maximum margin of 3pc.
Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2020