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KARACHI: JS Bank has disbursed some Rs 10 billion under the State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP) Rozgar Refinance Scheme to support the private sector for payment of salaries.

The State Bank initiated Refinance Scheme to support employment and prevent layoff of workers, commonly known as SBP Rozgar Scheme in April 2020. This scheme provides concessional loans maximum at 3 percent per annum (p.a.) for end users to businesses for wages and salaries expenses provided they commit not lay off their employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.

SBP data showed the overall some Rs 119 billion have been disbursed securing under this scheme by the banks securing some 1.18 million jobs.

The scheme was offered through various banks to support the economy. Few banks however, took the lead over others in forwarding these benefits to business.

JS Bank said that it was leading bank in the country in disbursement of loans to business under State Bank's Rozgar Refinance Scheme. As of June 30, 2020, JS Bank approved loans of Rs 10.8 billion to companies to ensure the payment of the salaries of some 104,427 employees during Covid-19.

Initially the scheme was launched for three months salaries from April to June 2020, however, in the light of feedback from the stakeholders and with a view to provide further support to the businesses to help them avoid laying off of their workers and employees, State Bank extended the validity of the schemes for next three months i.e. from July 2020 to September 30, 2020.

Businesses will now be able to obtain financing to pay wages and salaries for a maximum period of 6 months starting April 2020 till September 2020. With this extension, the businesses will now be able to avail facility to cover wages of three more months, but can also get reimbursement for the wages and salaries paid during April-June 2020.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020