The President of Friends of economic and business reforms Kashif Anwar send a letter to Hammad Azhar, Minister for industry and production.
According to letter Kashif Anwar said that every citizen of Pakistan is severely affected due to pandemic COVID-19 in the country. Since 22nd March 2020, majority of the markets, industries, private businesses are closed except some exempted sectors and because of closure of businesses everyone cash flow is badly affected. we want to bring some issues in your kind notice. Ministries do make policies but related departments and concerned offices do not follow those instructions with true spirit.
A very good example is of not charging detention and demurrage at the ports. Pakistan Friends of Business Reforms (PFBR) is continuously writing concerned authorities to give favor regarding detention and demur-rage to all importers either industrial or Commercial but of no use. No one is listening to them. Another example is of electricity bills, the due date of payment for the month of March was extended till 7th. April as issued by the electricity supply companies but banks are charging surcharge amount and they present an excuse that they have received no instruction of not deducting late payment charges.
such time has come that those companies who used to work with their own capital are currently looking for bank assistance to run their daily affairs.
In order to facilitate SME, SBP has announced to defer the principal amount of loans for one year with the condition to pay mark-up regularly. Secondly, borrow the amount of salaries of staff for the month of April, May and June 20 at 4% mark-up for 2 years if they are not removed from their jobs. We want to submit very sympathetically that the process of obtaining loan from bank and fulfill those formalities are so cumbersome that majority of entrepreneurs will not be able to avail these facilities.
Kashif Anwar request to Minister that Make the procedure easier for obtaining loan from the banks for business concerns and give loan on 6% mark up rate. Allow the payment of utility bills for the month of March, April, May & June 2020 including electricity, gas, telephone, mobile, water either residential, commercial or industrial without late fees and disconnection until the business activities are normalized. Allow all treasury payments like Income Tax, Sales Tax, Social security, Education Cess, EOBI and others to be deposited after their due dates without any penal action or fines until the business activities are normalized.
All the existing loans in any shape taken from any bank by individuals, retailers, SME may be rescheduled at 6% mark up till June 2021. Kashif Anwar warn, If Government will not make implementable short and medium term policies for businesses to bear the pandemic effects of COVID-19, it is worth mentioning that many businesses will not be in position to continue their affairs smoothly and will default which will directly and indirectly affect other businesses. It is also alarming that many other social and cultural threats are raising their heads. If the Government will not take serious and immediate steps, in the near future we will not only be fighting against the disease.