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1- HOUSING FINANCE
2-
US INVESTMENT
3- SDC AGREEMENT FOR LMSE PROGRAMME

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SDC SIGNS AGREEMENT FOR PHASE-III OF LMSE PROGRAMME

 

The programme aims at helping MSEs in improving their income and employment potential by providing revenue generating assets

 


By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Dec 29 - Jan 04, 2003
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The latest agreement between the four leasing companies of Pakistan and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) marks the beginning of the third phase of the leasing to micro and small enterprises (LMSE) programme. SDC started its LMSE programme in 1996 with the sole purpose of helping in poverty alleviation by increasing earnings and market-oriented employment. The Phase 11, launched in January 1999, successfully completed in September 2003. Based on the encouraging results achieved during this phase, the programme has been extended for another 4 years.

At the time of signing ceremony, Basheer A. Chowdry, Chairman Leasing Association of Pakistan and the CEOs of the four leasing companies participating in the programme were present. The SDC was represented by Ms Kaethy Schneitter, Deputy Country Director and Ms Ayesha Khan, National Programme Officer.

Talking about the salient features of this programme, Basheer Chowdry said, "LAP and its members are indeed grateful to the Swiss Government, the Embassy of Switzerland and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation for supporting the programme aimed at enhancing earning capacities of those who aspire to improve their financial and social stature, but have been deprived of the facility to do so in the past. This is a valuable gesture of friendship and support of the people of Switzerland for the people of Pakistan for which we are very grateful."

The programme aims at helping micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in improving their income and employment potential by providing revenue generating assets according to their trade or skill. The programme has so far been conducted in the provinces of Sindh, Punjab and the NWFP with an added focus on encouraging the women entrepreneurs to supplement family earnings. Specific programme objectives are to broaden the base of MSE leasing activities and to demonstrate the viability of MSE leasing in Pakistan.

It aims at strengthening LAP to 1) increase the awareness regarding the use and benefits of leasing in the MSE sector 2) strengthen the capacity of member companies with respect to MSE leasing by conducting training workshops and 3) establish contacts with the government to obtain a more favorable policy framework for MSE leasing. The programme also aims at experimentation and development of innovative instruments and methodologies in MSE leasing including experiments in rural leasing, leasing to women entrepreneurs and building linkages with CBOs and NGOs.

 

 

In Phase II the SDC provided Technical Assistance grant to LAP and credit lines to two leasing companies namely Network Leasing and Orix Leasing Pakistan. To achieve the specified objectives, LAP established a database of potential lessees of more than 6500 MSE units in various districts of NWFP. This database proved to be a valuable marketing tool for leasing companies participating in the programme. LAP organized 18 awareness seminars for potential lessees in NWFP and Northern Areas, carried out 9 promotional campaigns and 9 sector studies. LAP also conducted 15 training workshops on MSE leasing for the staff of leasing companies in order to build their capacity in this regard.

In collaboration with SDC, Orix Leasing utilized credit lines for lease financing to the tune of Rs 30.29 million, with an average contract size of around Rs 80,000, by providing asset financing mainly in the communication, education, services and health with geographical focus at Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Nowshera, Abbottabad and other districts of NWFP and Northern Areas. Coordination with NGOs, and various awareness programmes helped in expanding MSE leasing disbursements of the company.

Network Leasing wrote a total of 287 leases out of which 6% were for women entrepreneurs. The total disbursements amount to Rs 17.2 million and the average lease size was Rs 60,000. The lessees included small cottage industrial units, small hospitals and clinics, service and repair workshops and upcoming professionals. Awareness regarding Micro & Small Leasing was not only created amongst the potential lessee but also the performance of the leasing companies become aligned to the market demands and practicalities.

PHASE III

The scope of third Phase has been broadened by the inclusion of two more leasing companies in the programme, Al-Zamin Leasing Modaraba and Crescent Leasing Corporation. Financing is being provided to LAP and the four leasing companies for another four years to achieve sustainable overall goals of the programme.

During this phase all the partners will utilize their expertise and the assistance by SDC to: -1) further strengthen the capacity of LAP, 2) strengthen capacity of all the member leasing companies interested in exploring the MSE market, 3) enhance awareness among MSEs and 4) strengthening the capacities of the partner organizations.