Sindh Bank would provide loans for agriculture, livestock and fisheries on easy terms besides offering other financing facilities, said Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister Sharmila Farooqui.
Talking to the media at a complaint cell at the Chief Minister’s House on Monday, she said “each farmer will be provided with an ATM card, which can be used to withdraw cash up to 20 per cent of the loan.”
Farooqui said that farmers will also be provided a facility to order seeds and fertilisers through SMS from designated suppliers. “The suppliers, upon receiving the SMS and instructions from Sindh Bank, will ensure delivery of goods at farmer doorsteps. Supplier accounts with Sindh Bank will automatically be credited after delivery.”
Sindh Bank is expected to disburse Rs12 billion in loans in the year 2011 to various sectors, while unskilled and semi-skilled workers numbering at least 6,000 will be employed. Fifty branches of the bank will be opened in various business centres in Sindh and other provinces.
“It is assumed that a small-scale industry borrowing up to Rs10 million will employ at least five persons who will support their families,” Farooqui said.
President Asif Ali Zardari has advised the bank management to consider allocating 40 per cent of jobs to women. The bank’s first branch was inaugurated in Naudero by the president last month.
The Sindh government was going to subsidise purchase of 4,000 tractors by farmers through balloting. Total cost of a tractor is Rs900,000, including a subsidy of Rs300,000. Sindh Bank may finance 25 to 50 per cent of the applicant’s share of Rs600,000 against registration and insurance of the tractor in the bank’s name, she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2011.