THIS is with reference to the editorial ‘Lending for home’ (Nov 16) and the article ‘The spin ends’ (Nov 18). The editorial has stated that lending for low-cost housing has been painfully slow and the value of disbursement has been cited as Rs18 billion. This is not the complete picture, and the value of disbursement in any case stands at Rs22bn.

Also, the editorial has not captured the growth in housing and construction finance on year-on-year basis. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has never pushed the banks to compromise portfolio quality, and banks’ risk is mitigated through Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company coverage.

Besides, the editorial referred to the absence of effective foreclosure laws even though such laws are fully enforceable.

As for the article, deviation of actual developments from projections is not unusual and can occur as a result of many exogenous factors. Also, the path of inflation and external accounts are influenced by a number of factors. As foreshadowed in the last Monetary Policy Statement, with the recovery in a more mature phase, the priority of monetary policy should now shift toward protecting the longevity of growth by addressing these risks. The decision to bring forward the monetary policy committee meeting by a week should be seen in that context.

SBP Chief Spokesman
Karachi

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2021

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