The Department is part of Development Finance Group (DFG) of SBP whose mandate is to enhance outreach of financial services to MSMEs, Housing, Infrastructure, agriculture sector and other priority areas like green banking.
SBP gives immense importance to priority sectors for their economic and developmental role e.g. firstly, SMEs account for more than 90% of the total business establishments in Pakistan. They create new jobs and facilitate wealth creation, provide essential business infrastructure for large enterprises, and are the basic source of innovation & entrepreneurial activity. In many countries, the banking industry has adopted innovative approaches to exploit full potential of SME sector through designing SME specific products, improved risk criteria & financial reporting standards, and special lending techniques. Secondly, housing market is among the most important markets in the economy due to its sizeable portion of production activity in an economy, through its backward linkages to land markets, building materials, tools, durable goods, and labor markets, besides significant forward linkages with financial markets, as well. Thirdly, the need for infrastructure development is one of the global challenges of our time. In fact, there is probably no bigger question for public policy worldwide. We need better schools, hospitals, roads, railways, nuclear power plants, wind farms and other forms of alternative/ sustainable energy needs to grow and develop our social and economic fabric.
Infrastructure, Housing & SME Finance Department (IH&SMEFD) was established in 2011 as a result of merger of Infrastructure and Housing Finance Department and SME Finance Department. Headed by a Director, IH&SMEFD reports to Executive Director-DFG. The department is responsible for creation of an enabling regulatory environment for SME, Housing and Infrastructure finance. Moreover, the department plans & executes market development initiatives, capacity building programs, and measures for financial literacy pertaining to above specified priority sectors. Additionally, developmental initiatives based on best international practices, improving regulatory environment and coordinating activities for development of long-term and sustainable funding/liquidity mechanisms for housing and infrastructure finance fall in the jurisdiction of the department. Apart from this, the department is responsible to promote green banking in the country by promoting environmental considerations in operations, practices and products/ Services of banks/ DFIs within their ambit.
Besides the above mentioned priority sectors, the department is also responsible for designing, implementing and monitoring short and long term schemes (Export Finance Scheme, , Long Term Financing Facility) for enhancing exports of the country. Further, it also oversees the flow of banks' credit for commodity operations and to Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) and Autonomous Bodies (ABs).