SBP raises financing threshold for hospitals

From Zeeshan Mirza

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday has increased the limit of concessional loans by Rs300 million for hospitals and medical centers in order to facilitate the health sector in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the central bank’s announcement on Friday, under the new development, the banks can provide loans of up to Rs500 million to medical centres and hospitals. Previously, the central bank could only provide Rs200 million to a single hospital or medical centre.”So far, financing of Rs. 2.2 billion for 11 hospitals/medical centers has been approved whereas financing requests of Rs 3.6 billion for 23 hospitals/medical centers are being processed by the banks,” read a statement from the SBP.Moreover, the financing under this facility is being made available by the central bank at 0% interest rate to commercial banks that can charge a maximum rate of 3% per annum to hospitals and other medical facilities. This is the latest of a series of measures taken by the central bank to provide relief to various sectors of the country hit hardest by the coronavirus. Last month, the SBP had slashed the interest rate from 11% to 9% as a measure to provide relief to businesses taking a hit from the coronavirus.