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MGT604 - Management of Financial Institutions - Lecture Handout 39

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Can Government of Pakistan Lay a Pivotal Role in this Sector?

In the recent past SMEDA stands out as a significant step towards Govt of Pakistan commitment to SME development. Created as an autonomous institution with private sector led governance structure, SMEDA promises to become an important institution spearheading Government’s SME development efforts. However, in absence of a coherent SME development policy framework it is unrealistic to expect a single organization such as SMEDA, to be able to implement aggressive SME development initiatives because:

  1. Issues to be addressed for SME development fall within the purview of a large number of Ministries and Departments at the Federal, Provincial and Local government levels. SMEDA has no institutional jurisdiction or linkage with such institutions; and
  2. SMEDA has limited budget and manpower, posing restrictions on its capacity to launch capital intensive initiatives and extend its outreach Thus to provide a coherent policy mechanism, there is a need to develop a
    comprehensive SME Policy for Pakistan that defines the role of concerned public sector institutions. Such a Policy framework will provide the required direction and focus for achieving SME led economic growth resulting in job creation and reduction in poverty. Private sector growth in SME sector (as opposed to the large scale manufacturing) will result in lesser investments per job created, wider geographic and social spread of investments and better income distribution.

SME Policy & Their Objectives

The objective of SME Policy is to provide a short and a medium to long- term policy framework with an implementation mechanism for achieving higher economic growth based on SME led private sector development.

The SME Policy suggests concurrent and specific policy measures in all possible areas of SME development:

  1. Business environment
  2. Access to finance
  3. Human resource development
  4. Support for technology up gradation and marketing

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MGT604 - Management of Financial Institutions - Lecture Handout 30

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Letter of Credit and International Trade

A letter of credit is a document issued mostly by a financial institution which usually provides an irrevocable payment undertaking (it can also be revocable, confirmed, unconfirmed, transferable or others e.g. back to back: revolving but is most commonly irrevocable/confirmed) to a beneficiary against complying documents as stated in the Letter of Credit. Letter of Credit is abbreviated as an LC or L/C, and often is referred to as a documentary credit, abbreviated as DC or D/C, documentary letter of credit, or simply as credit (as in the UCP 500 and UCP 600). Once the beneficiary or a presenting bank acting on its behalf, makes a presentation to the issuing bank or confirming bank, if any, within the expiry date of the LC, comprising documents complying with the terms and conditions of the LC, the applicable UCP and international standard banking practice, the issuing bank or confirming bank, if any, is obliged to honor irrespective of any instructions from the applicant to the contrary. In other words, the obligation to honor (usually payment) is shifted from the applicant to the issuing bank or confirming bank, if any. Non-banks can also issue letters of credit however parties must balance potential risks.

The LC can also be the source of payment for a transaction, meaning that an exporter will get paid by redeeming the letter of credit. Letters of credit are used nowadays primarily in international trade transactions of significant value, for deals between a supplier in one country and a wholesale customer in another. They are also used in the land development
process to ensure that approved public facilities (streets, sidewalks, storm water ponds, etc.) will be built. The parties to a letter of credit are usually a beneficiary who is to receive the money, the issuing bank of whom the applicant is a client, and the advising bank of whom the beneficiary is a client. Since nowadays almost all letters of credit are irrevocable, (i.e.
cannot be amended or cancelled without prior agreement of the beneficiary, the issuing bank, and the confirming bank, if any). However, the applicant is not a party to the letter of credit. In executing a transaction, letters of credit incorporate functions common to giros and Traveler's cheque. Typically, the documents a beneficiary has to present in order to avail him of the credit are commercial invoice, bill of lading, insurance documents. However, the list and form of documents is open to imagination and negotiation and might contain requirements to present documents issued by a neutral third party evidencing the quality of the goods shipped.

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