“There are thousands of skilled artisans, including women, in Bahawalpur region, who can benefit from microfinance banking for enhancement of their business,” Dr Muhammad Mukhtar, the Islamia University of Bahawalpur vice chancellor said on Tuesday.
He was addressing bankers, industrialists and skilled persons at the Microfinance Mela at the university.
Dr Mukhtar said that a change in national economy could only be brought with promotion of small and medium enterprises which would also boost up the youth associated with this sector.
Giving example of Nobel Prize winner Dr Muhammad Younus, the vice chancellor said similar achievement could be attained in Pakistan if young economist promoted small and medium enterprise.
He said that the university was committed to higher education as well as community development.
He stressed the need for encouraging craftswomen, saying that about 7,000 girl students and hundreds of female teachers and employees could promote social activity at local level.
He said that the university will hold a handicrafts festival for local skilled women at the university girls’ hostels soon in collaboration with the State Bank of Pakistan.
He also promised arranging training for the craftsmen in marketing Cholistani products and handicrafts and provision of easy loans to them.
“This will help bring stability to local economy and preserve our centuries old cultural heritage,” he said.
He said small and medium enterprises could also help generate employment. Other speakers on the occasion included State Bank’s Chief Manager Khadium Hussain, Bankers’ Club Finance Secretary GR Paracha and representatives of several microfinance banks.
They talked about establishing a Development Finance Support Department to educate businessmen, farmers, NGOs, chambers of commerce and industry and educational institutions in microfinance and small enterprise.
Earlier, Dr Mukhtar also inaugurated an exhibition of textile products and handicrafts. The manufactured textile products included khaddi, chunri, block prints, knit and embroidered clothing.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2012.