KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has digitised the refinance process to facilitate banks for entertaining loan applications of exporters in more efficient and expeditious way resulting in quick disbursements.

“In a major step towards ease of doing business, the process for obtaining refinance from the SBP by banks under the Export Finance Scheme (EFS) has been digitised for both conventional and Shariah-compliant versions,” said the SBP circular issued on Wednesday.

The quick process for obtaining financing from SBP would also help the exporters to get the financing earlier. The exporters have been extended a number of facilities, as a result, the country’s overall exports grew by 25pc in the July-December period of FY22.

Digitisation of the refinance process is envisioned to effectively use technology for enhancing operational efficiency, said the SBP, adding that now EFS-related cases and other relevant data will be submitted electronically to the SBP by banks through an online platform for expeditious regulatory decisions.

“Initially, the digitised process of EFS cases will run in parallel with existing manual submission for a short period,” said the SBP.

Thereafter, the paper-based submission of cases by banks will permanently give way to the electronic submission of cases.

This online platform will also enable banks to track the updated status of EFS-related cases submitted to SBP, on real time basis. Banks will be able to retrieve the system-generated reports for updated status for onward sharing with their customers.

The implementation of digitisation of EFS functions will enable SBP to delegate some of the operations to banks, such as sub-allocation of EFS limits by banks as per their own requirements. “Under the digitised mechanism, there will be no need of transferring an exporter’s limit from one SBP BSC office to another SBP BSC office,” said the SBP.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2022

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