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3.6m account holders out of 180m population: Financial literacy programme of State Bank very soon

3.6m account holders out of 180m population: Financial literacy programme of State Bank very soon

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan will introduce a comprehensive, informative and awareness sessions on financial literacy in addition to the monetary and economic issues for the sustained and scientific development of the country.

In this connection a meeting of the focused group of SBP Faisalabad will be held at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) during next month, said Aamir Aziz Bhatti, chief manager of State Bank of Pakistan, Faisalabad.

Addressing the executive committee members of the FCCI, he underlined the importance of the role of business, trade and industry in the overall national development and said that banks were making serious efforts to facilitate these sectors under the umbrella of the State Bank of Pakistan.

He termed the private sector an engine of the economic growth and said: “We could earn much needed foreign exchange and generate taxes in addition to creating new jobs by developing small and medium entrepreneurs (SME) on modern lines.” Responding to a question about the demand for further cut in the discount rate, he said that it was directly linked with the overall economic condition and a holistic approach was imperative for its safe and economically feasible determination. However, he assured to make serious efforts on his part by inviting policymakers to give a detailed briefing on this process to the business community of Faisalabad. He also quoted discount rate of six percent during 2006 and said that this facility was abused by the non-productive consumer sector instead of exploiting it for the productive industrial sector.

Regarding the banking spread, he said that it was high due to the inefficiency of some banks; however, efforts were being made to cut it down to the reasonable levels. Regarding alternate energy sources, Aamir Aziz Bhatti said that State Bank of Pakistan has allocated sufficient funds to finance this sector with only 11.5 percent mark-up. He said that industrialists should utilise this facility to fulfil their energy related needs.

He said that out of 180 million population only 3.6 million people have bank accounts and out of these some has two to three accounts, thus the overall ratio of account holders was only 10 percent, and added that this ratio should be increased for the promotion of business sector on healthy lines.