instituting an enabling policy, legal and
regulatory framework for the development of microfinance sector.
According to a handout issued by the Khushhali
Bank, the ADB praised the strong commitment of the government to its
poverty reduction agenda. The ADB report notes the effort of Khushhali
Bank — the first licensed microfinance bank in Pakistan — in
adopting good governance and successful practices in banking for the
poor to emerge as a viable bank with nearly 60,000 clients and 98 per
cent repayment rate.
Complementing the MSDP reforms, the ADB board
approved $250 million Rural Finance Sector Development Programme (RFSDP)
on December 20, 2002 for transforming Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited
into a sustainable financial institution for effectively meeting the
financial needs of farmers and rural entrepreneurs. Reform of Zarai
Taraqiati Bank (former Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan) was
initiated as part of the MSDP.
The RFSDP also includes a 'new bank fund' of $15
million to provide concessional assistance for institutional
development to promoters of licensed microfinance banks in rural
Shaukat Aziz, adviser to prime minister on finance,
in his policy statement on Nov. 4, had reiterated the government's
resolve for establishing a pro-poor financial system as a critical
element for combating the rising incidence of poverty. This was to be
undertaken in a manner that was consistent with the overall reforms in
the banking sector in terms of autonomy, good governance,
privatization and sustainability.
OIL COMPANIES PROFIT IN PERCENTAGE TERMED UNJUST
The oil distribution companies are earning over
Rs40 billion profits, which, if curtailed could bring down power
tariff substantially and huge relief to common man.
Experts in the oil and power sector criticize
government for allowing the companies to fix their profits in
percentage terms instead of fixed ones.
"Till December 2001, these companies were
charging Rs159 per ton," says an official of the ministry of
petroleum. From January 2002, these companies were allowed to fix
their profit in percentage; 3 per cent to begin with, with a plan to
raise it to 5.5 per cent. This suddenly increased their profits from
around Rs700 million to around Rs2 billion from the furnace oil head
ADB APPROVES $120,000 GRANT FOR SINDH
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a
preparatory technical assistance (TA) grant of $120,000 to help plan a
health and education project in Sindh.
The purpose of the project is to make devolved
social services more effective, efficient, and equitable and achieve a
major impact on the education and health status of the poor in Sindh
province. The project is in ADB's 2003 pipeline of projects.
According to the local ADB office, Sindh's social
sector status is among the worst in Asia. About 13 per cent of
children die before the age of five, and about 10 per cent of mothers
die from maternal complications.
PIA TO FLOAT RS15BN TFCS
Pakistan International Airline Corporation (PIAC)
chairman Hamid Nawaz Khan has said the corporation would float Rs15
billion Term Finance Certificates (TFCs) during this week to further
strengthen the financial position of the airline.
Talking to reporters after the stone-laying
ceremony of PIA complex at the New Terminal Complex, he said the
mark-up on the TFCs amounting to around Rs12.5 billion would be paid
by the government for the next five years. He said the PIAC had
already received bids from banks at home and abroad to the tune of
around Rs10 billion.
MCB ISLAMIC BANKING BRANCHES
Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd will open dedicated
Islamic banking branches at its selected premises to offer the entire
range of Islamic mode of financing.
This was stated by head and SEVP, Corporate and
Islamic Banking Group, MCB, Shoaib Qureshi, while speaking at a Haj
seminar organized by the bank for pilgrims at New Haji Camp.
He said that an announcement in this regard would
be made in a couple of months. "This will be a pure Islamic
banking and the entire branch will deal in the Islamic way of
finance," he added.
SBP ALLOWS FOREIGN PRIVATE LOAN PRE-PAYMENT
The State Bank of Pakistan is all set to bring down
Pakistan's external debt liability to $35.63 billion by June next
year. The State Bank has taken another initiative by allowing
pre-payment of foreign private loans.
Estimated at around 2.45 billion dollars in June
this year, the foreign private loans have been obtained mostly by
private power operators, a few cement companies and many other private
LEASING COS CAN GO FOR HOUSE FINANCING: SBP
Suggesting the leasing companies to focus on the
small and medium enterprises and agriculture sectors, Governor State
Bank, Dr Ishrat Hussain has clarified that the leasing companies can
go for house finance or real estate leasing ventures.
Talking to the reporters, after a meeting with the
Leasing Association, Dr Ishrat Hussain said that there was vast scope
for the leasing companies in SMEs and agriculture especially for
machinery, equipment, etc., which was direly needed in our society.