ISLAMABAD: Financial literacy will be part of the new curriculum to equip the younger generation with financial knowledge, said Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood.
Speaking at the launch of a book titled “Savings and Capital Market” at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) headquarters, the minister said it was highly important to inculcate financial discipline, culture of savings and benefits of investment in the youth. The book was published by the SECP in collaboration with the World Bank.
Appreciating the SECP’s efforts to promote financial literacy and awareness, Mahmood said the government was preparing a new curriculum in order to improve educational standards. “The subject of financial literacy will be made part of the new curriculum,” he stressed.
The minister advised the public not to invest in unregulated sectors. Instead, he suggested that they should invest in regulated sectors such as the stock market, mutual funds and insurance. “This way, their capital will be safe and it will be transferred to their heirs in a transparent and easy manner.”
He acknowledged that awareness of investment in the capital market was limited and stressed the need for boosting efforts to promote financial literacy and awareness.
“The SECP’s role of regulating the capital market in a balanced manner is of critical importance,” he remarked.
Speaking on the occasion, SECP Chairman Farrukh Sabzwari said investor protection was the SECP’s top priority and called the financially literate and aware investor a safe investor.
He revealed that the SECP was about to introduce a new broker custody model, which would be highly secure, protected and more transparent.
He agreed that investor education was vital because people were shy of investing in the regulated sector.
“As of today, there are only 250,000 investors in the stock market. Some 30 years ago, the figure was 90,000, which means we have not been able to sufficiently expand the investor base and this is why we need to educate people and expand the investor education programme,” said Sabzwari.
He added that the public needed to be educated regarding fraudulent sales agents.
The SECP chairman said people should know what was miss-selling and what were their rights and responsibilities as investors, so that no one could deprive them of their hard-earned money by offering unrealistic profits. World Bank’s Lead Specialist Finance and Markets Marius Vismantas said that the World Bank had been collaborating with the SECP in a number of initiatives for the development of capital market and the launch of the book was the first chapter of mutual cooperation.
Supporting the debate that financial literacy was vital for improving lives, he said “the sooner we educate our youth about financial matters, savings and investments, the better.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2019.
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