The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has unveiled a comprehensive policy to enhance financial inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWDs).
According to a statement issued on Monday, this policy initiative aims to improve financial independence of PWDs by improving access to banking services as well as providing opportunities to contribute as bank employees.
Under the policy framework, banks will offer products and services catering to the special needs of all categories of PWDs including the physically handicapped, visually impaired and those with hearing and speech disabilities.
The statement added that banks have been asked to ensure the availability of essential forms and documents in braille, sign language interpretation services and ramps at the entrance of their branches and ATM vestibules.
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Moreover, in the context of helping PWDs to join banks as employees, an important feature of the policy requires banks to meet the prescribed job quota for PWDs and align human resource policies and practices to cater to their specific needs throughout the career cycle.
“This covers recruitment, retention, capacity building and career development in addition to the conventional HR practices,” it said.
In order to encourage female PWDs, the job quota for PWDs at banks shall ensure at least a 25% share for women with disabilities. Moreover, while designing products and services, the banks shall ensure focused and efficient provision of banking facilities to the female PWDs.
Speaking on the occasion, SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir told President Dr Arif Alvi about the efforts being made to improve the quality of services for PWDs and shared his resolve that the SBP would continue its efforts, along with banks, towards achieving even higher standards for such services.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2021.