PESHAWAR: Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Sherbaz Bilour has urged commercial banks to simplify loan procedure and make further reduction in interest rate for the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). He made the demand during a meeting with a delegation of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Peshawar region on Thursday. The NBP team apprised the SCCI president of the prime minister’s housing scheme (Naya Pakistan) in detail and asked the business community to take benefit of the scheme. Bilour said traders had faced enormous difficulties in obtaining loans from commercial banks because of cumbersome and lengthy procedure, and called for simplifying the loan issuance process to facilitate the community. He also asked banks to streamline and ensure a smooth working of the banking system by using modern technology. The SCCI chief emphasised that the government should offer special incentives and loan schemes to attract new investment and promote industrialisation in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which would help create employment opportunities and stabilise the local economy. He urged the commercial banks to simplify the loan procedure for development of small businesses and industries in the province. He stressed that banks should ensure provision of soft loans to the businesses affected by the coronavirus lockdown. Bilour added that the government should announce special incentives to give a boost to industrialisation in the province. Earlier, the NBP team called on the business community to take full advantage of the PM Naya Pakistan scheme as well as other soft loan programmes to expand their businesses.