Govt looks to improve low-income strata’s awareness

SBP governor says efforts under way to enhance flow of financial education

Owais Qarni February 04, 2017
First quarterly report says agricultural sector recovers with improved output of major crops. PHOTO: EXPRESS

MULTAN: The government has successfully piloted a Nationwide Financial Literacy Program (NFLP) to improve the financial well-being of the low income strata through enhanced flow of financial education, said State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf Mehmood Wathra

However, he conceded that such efforts needed to be complemented with information and guidance from opinion leaders who have an influence on mass behaviour.

He said that the government was introducing a new law to amend the mandatory section of mortgaging the property of debtors for advancing loans from banks and financial institutions. A bill in this regard has already been approved.

Addressing a meeting of the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), chaired by President Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi, Wathra said that Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company is being formed to promote housing finance market with greater participation by the banks and financial institutions.

The refinancing facilities will be for long-, medium- and short-term periods to banks and financial institutions against their existing conventional and Islamic housing finance portfolios. He said that the shortcomings of house building laws were being removed to ensure the recovery from the defaulters.

The central bank is also formulating Prudential Regulations for the SMEs, including setting up of Credit Information Bureau, enabling commercial banks to finance SMEs, said Wathra.

“SBP will facilitate the SMEs in the best way possible,” said the governor adding that it is pursuing a three-pronged strategy to achieve the goal of 50% financial inclusion by the year 2020.

“SBP is creating a favourable regulatory environment for the microfinance sector, while providing cheaper financial resources and building infrastructure to reduce the cost of delivery of funds.”

Microfinance Country Forum 2016

Equitable economic growth and financial inclusion is the key to progress, said Wathra while addressing the 10th Microfinance Country Forum 2016.

He underlined the need for an inclusive growth in the country at an accelerated pace, and said that all segments of the economy must contribute towards this goal.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2017.

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