Jobs of over 500,000 employees will be secured by State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) refinance scheme amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

According to a spokesperson of SBP, in the first two weeks of the scheme, applications from companies worth Rs 65 billion are in process at banks and development finance institutions (DFIs) that will protect jobs of more than 500,000 employees in more than 700 companies.

He maintained that there has been significant take-up in the scheme that provides concessional loans at 3 per cent to any company that commits to not lay off workers for the next three months.

Earlier on April 10, to support the employment of workers in the face of economic challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had introduced a temporary refinance scheme for businesses entitled Refinance Scheme for Payment of Wages and Salaries to the Workers and Employees of Business Concerns.