QUETTA: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra directed heads of commercial banks on Monday to improve their services in Balochistan and make three-year business plans to strengthen their presence in the province.
Addressing a press conference, he said banks can earn more by providing their consumers with maximum facilities.
“The objective of the gathering is to provide people, particularly those who are affiliated with trade and industry, with better banking services and facilities,” said Mr Wathra.
He noted the improvement in the overall security situation in Balochistan, adding that the availability of energy also improved in recent years. He pointed out that banking services should be extended to far-flung areas.
He suggested that commercial banks should come up with innovative financing ideas that ensure inclusive economic growth. “Priority should be given to local candidates in recruitment,” he said.
According to a press release by the SBP, Mr Wathra urged banks to take concrete steps to increase the number of branchless banking agents, branchless banking accounts and ATMs in the province.
Saleem Shahid adds: Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri held a meeting with Mr Wathra to discuss issues including the establishment of Balochistan Bank.
The provincial government will provide the SBP with the feasibility report for Balochistan Bank. “Establishing Balochistan Bank is my dream,” Mr Zehri said. “Unemployment, poverty, backwardness and terrorism will be vanished from the province if we provide jobs to 100,000 youths of Balochistan,” he said.
The SBP governor said: “The SBP will itself monitor commercial banks’ planning and preparation in this regard,” he said.
He said the SBP’s cash counter will soon be opened in Khuzdar and Gwadar.
Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017