KARACHI – Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Finance Minister of Punjab and Mr. Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha, Agriculture Minister Government of Punjab had a meeting with Mr. Saeed Ahmad, the President of National Bank of Pakistan to discuss the close cooperation between Government of Punjab and NBP in e-credit scheme for agriculture.
Under the e-credit scheme, small agri farmers are being provided financing for which mark up is being borne by the Punjab Government. NBP has committed to lend up to PKR 30 million under the scheme of the Government of Punjab. Ms. Ayesha Ghous appreciated Mr. Saeed Ahmad’s vision and association with the development of the scheme while he was Deputy Governor of SBP.
NBP is one of the leading bank associated with this sector with more than 800 branches dealing with agri lending. “We need to modernize our agri production techniques in accordance with the present day practices to enhance yields, improve storage facilities and have better access to markets nation-wide as well as internationally. It is important to use tested seeds with high yield potential after soil testing for determining right sort of input and economical use of water. Prosperity of our farmers is the key to success of any initiative in agriculture and this may only be achieved by guiding them to improve yield.”
Pakistan is an agri based economy keeping the focus on the growth of this sector is imperative for the overall growth of the economy. To ensure that the loans under e-scheme reach the most deserving candidates, a strategy was designed where NBP will partner with the best performing micro finance institutions and extend credit lines to these institutions. These institutions will use the same credit lines to disburse loans to the small farmers under e-credit scheme country-wide.
At this occasion Mr. Saeed Ahmad, President and CEO National Bank of Pakistan said “NBP will be driven with firm commitment on bringing the change needed to empower our nation especially in the agri sector. We have and always will be committed to serving the nation and deliver solutions for over 80% of the unbanked population of Pakistan. It is crucial that the masses which are not catered by any commercial bank are empowered to rise, grow and received support by National Bank of Pakistan”.
Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Finance Minister of Punjab stated that the government of Punjab is determined to empower farmers, especially small land holders, landless farmers and those who have never availed any financial facilities. She further added the government of Punjab is also working on schemes to promote SME Sector for which they will be seeking co-operation from NBP and other banks.
Mr. Saeed Ahmad, President & CEO, NBP stated that NBP is willing to cooperate with all provinces to promote agri financing. He reiterated that the Governor State Bank of Pakistan Mr. Tariq Bajwa declared new lending targets for agriculture sector of PKR 1001 Million. Though it is a challenging number but banks have shown their commitment to achieve this target. Mr Bajwa is also emphasizing on SME Sector and financial inclusion.
Mr. Saeed Ahmad, President & CEO, NBP said that NBP is fully supportive of SBP initiative as these will move our economy in the right direction and provide economic stability. He said that NBP is keen to participate in schemes to promote all provinces.