ISLAMABAD: In line with the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directives, the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) has embarked upon holding ‘open kutchery’ across the country with the aim of resolving problems faced by the farming community.

A press release of ZTBL said on Tuesday that during direct interaction with farmers at Multan, Bahawalnagar and Vehari — where growers from Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur also joined in the open kutchery — farmers complained about expensive and substandard fertilisers. They also sought reduction in the loan application fee besides suggesting that insurance claims against crop damages should be increased.

ZTBL President Muhammad Shahbaz Jameel assured the farmers that the bank was in touch with fertiliser companies so that farmers get affordable standard products at their doorsteps.

The growers called for increase in support price of crops, requesting ZTBL president to launch loan against gold as majority of small farmers possess jewellery.

Some growers wanted ZTBL to waive-off the mark-up for borrowers who have died. The ZTBL president assured all possible concessional measures for such cases.

Increase in enhancement of loan was also requested by the farmers. Mr Jameel said the enhancement of loan can be made after the approval of respective zonal chief and branch manager.

Overall, the farmers expressed satisfaction with PM’s Covid-19 relief package for farmers, saying the initiative was in true spirits a great relief to farmers in the testing times, the ZTBL press release claimed.

This was for the first time that a president of ZTBL has directly listened to the challenged faced by farmers since the inception of the bank, the press release added.

ZTBL has constituted separate teams of executives for holding open courts in far flung areas of the country in order to receive direct feedback from growers.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2021

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