KARACHI - The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) has complained that despite the rate cut by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) the commercial banks are not passing the benefit to the SME borrowers.

President Unisame Zulfikar Thaver said the union was sure that the rate cut in the monetary policy would provide the much-needed relief to the sector and expected that the commercial banks would transfer the benefits to the SMEs and oblige them with lower rates for consumer financing and bridge financing for SME units.

Thaver said there is need for better focus on SME financing and their access to finance at lower rates, speedy disposal of applications, better collateral management and risk management.

Thaver reiterated the need for SME specific bank to cater to needs of the sector in terms of finance for import and export, purchase of raw materials, running expenses and bridge financing.

He urged the SBP to hasten the privatisation of SME Bank with agenda for major financing of SMEs as planned, adding that the sector is also looking forward to the prompt functioning of the Exim Bank which has been set up by the government.

Meantime Unisame feels the need for imposing on the commercial banks mandatory financing of a reasonable portion of their portfolio for SMEs and has invited the attention of SBP to the urgent need of increasing it and also ensure that the compulsory financing is specifically for SMEs and not utilised for consumer financing.

The commercial banks have a tendency to treat consumer financing under the head of SME financing, he added.