Feb 28 - Mar 06, 2005 
ISSUE # 09 

Micro finance is gaining importance as an effective tool of social mobilization and poverty alleviation in Pakistan. Currently a variety of institutions ranging from Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) to private and government sponsored rural support programs are delivering micro finance services to the poor. Two commercial banks i.e. First Women Bank and Bank of Khyber are also providing lines of credit.
Micro finance sector has the largest potential clientele base, comprising of 6.5 million poor households. However, the micro finance service market in Pakistan remains underdeveloped and serves only 7 to 8 percent of the potential clients.



Pakistan and Malaysia have decided to take a series of initiatives aimed at promoting economic cooperation between the two countries. These initiatives were actually the outcome of the recent visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Pakistan, which will go a long way to strengthen the existing friendly relations between the two nations.




Reportedly a proposal is under consideration to raise the minimum paid-up capital for commercial banks to Rs6 billion. The State Bank of Pakistan has already raised the minimum limit and all the banks are required to raise their paid-up capital to Rs2 billion by 31st December 2005. Raising this limit by three-fold over the next three years seems an ambitious target.